I went for an invigorating stroll on Bonmahon beach over the weekend. I also faced my fears of dissolving into a public cacophony of tears, by going to see Les Mis. I am nothing, if not a survivor! Many people might think I was mad for taking a stroll along the sea front in this bitterly cold weather. But, it’s not madness, it’s that part of me that longs to feel alive and is secretly on a high as a cold blast of air hits me in the face . . . Ok, I must come clean here, for the first 5-10 minutes of my beach walk, I was shivering from head to foot, clasping at my coat, breathing heavily into my scarf and uttering the odd desolate cry whilst Hubs charged ahead decisively.
I’m pleased to report that the icy air failed to worry me as I stubbornly persisted, marching on in pursuit. Eventually, my hands came down from my face, I held my head up and started to take in my surroundings. In Winter the sea is angry, passionate, a surging mass of grey swirl and glossy surf. You can’t help but stare at it, move with it and appreciate the glory of its dark days. As we tripped from clinking pebbles to wet grainy sand, we kept having to side step as the water chased us in. It felt as if we were snatching at this walk, at the time granted us by the sea.
Les Miserables had a similar effect on me. I was expecting a grim, colourless tale, only brightened by the few songs I knew. Although, I love musicals, I have always avoided this one, believing it would drag me down. If Hugh Jackman had not been in the lead role I probably would never gone to see it and I really would have missed out! The film is spectacular. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway give outstanding performances. Yes, there is sadness but there is also hope and compassion, not to mention a touch of humour provided by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter.
Although, the film was sung all the way through, my attention hardly wavered. It was only in the third part of the film, that it took me a while to adjust as new characters took centre stage. But I was very impressed by Samantha Barks’ rendition of ‘On my Own’ and empathised with her character greatly. She has travelled a long way from ‘I’d do Anything’. Days later, I’m still reliving bits of the film, humming the songs. I’m really looking forward to the Oscars as I’m rooting for Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.
Most importantly, I did not embarass myself in public. I admit to welling up in the closing scenes, one tear may have trickled down my face, perhaps two. But I did not collapse on to my husband’s shoulder, neither did I need the tissues I had hastily stuffed into my coat pocket. I wore my tears like a glistening badge of honour. I was brave and I was rewarded by an emotionally stirring, exhilarating experience. I did not leave the cinema downcast, but buzzing with the anticipation of discussing all the highlights.
Bonmahon Waves and the Thrill of Les Mis.