5. Empty Chairs At Empty Tables
“…where my friends will sing no more.”
The dust settles, the bodies are cleared, and all that’s left is poor Marius weeping over the realization that his “friends are dead and gone.” Next to Jean Valjean, Marius was the most fleshed out character driven only by his desire for Cosette and his desire for a revolution. Though sounding a bit like Kermit the Frog with his singing voice, Eddie Redmayne’s performance from his fall for Cosette to the fall of his comrades was for lack of better word – captivating. He was the furthest thing from wooden and acted like a character from that era going through the troubles of a real person madly in love. Those innocent – yet creepy – stares he gave Cosette when he first saw her were so effective that I felt Marius was looking at me the entire time.
Which is why this scene was so sad to begin with. Marius had a journey and a story with a beginning and an end. If people could find someone to connect to, Marius would definitely be a frontrunner. He wasn’t a character in this movie, he was a person sitting in front of us, which is why a simple song without a blasting orchestra was so effective. Coupled with the camera’s love for being super close to each actor, “Empty Chairs At Empty Tables” was heartbreaking because it felt real. And come on, it was the “send off” song for Enjolras and the rest of Marius’ friends, characters who deserved a song to begin with.
This was the scene where I didn’t cry, but I was sure damn close.
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