Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Review: Focus on the Family's, Les Miserables

The story of redemption, mercy, justice and changed lives, this is Les Miserables.  Written by Victor Hugo and told over and over again on pages, stages and screens, the story is still fresh and needs to be heard.  I was eager to do a review on Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre version of this classic tale {I received a complimentary copy from Tydale Publishers }.  We loved what they did with Narnia and were eager to hear their latest production. 

Excellent sound effects, a stirring musical score and an excellent cast of voices provided a rich tapestry for the imagination as the listener was transported back to another time and another place.  My only criticism was that I was supposed to be in France and every character had a British accent – that was an unfortunate oversight which seems to be quite prevalent these days (the movie “Hugo” and the newest film version of Les Mis also use British accents for all their French characters in Paris – sad but true).

Despite that one flaw my children, husband and I enjoyed listening to Jean Val Jean’s confession to his ‘daughter’ Cosette.  The producers used a series of flashbacks, narrated by Val Jean as a backdrop to the story.  He bares his soul telling her vignettes from the past that allow her to see how the two of them got to the point where they are and why they lived the secluded life they did.

The poignant dichotomy between Val Jean and Javert provided the angst that is needed in any good story.  That Val Jean was transformed by one act of mercy is a beautiful message to the world.  One cannot help but weep for the tormented Javert who cannot understand that mercy overcomes justice – without the law he is nothing and cannot accept that. Marius, Cosette and Fantene are but a few of the many who were changed by Val Jean's compassion and integrity.  Les Miserables is the kind of story that we need to keep on hearing.  

If you have a road trip coming up or a long commute I would highly recommend Focus on the Family's version of Les Miserables, told in such a way as to make it accessible to the whole family.  Enjoy!

This resource is available through Amazon, Focus on the Family, Christianbook and other places.

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