(This was originally going to be in a powerpoint. Forgive me - I do not have enough time.)
So a few weeks ago I posted my sentiments about Javert:
Now let me talk about Russell Crowe.
Many people don’t like him.
Or at least they don’t like the way he portrayed Javert.
They don’t like his singing.
Well I say
WRONG, SIR! WRONG!
Over the past few decades, many phenomenal singers have had their chance to try out Javert. And with them comes a new personality and character. For example, you have Norm Lewis who brings a cold and passionate promise (I apologize, I cannot seem to find a link that does his voice justice)
Then you have Philip Quast who brings a sense of powerful fury:
And then you have Russell Crowe:
Who brings a tremendous difference to the character. Because Crowe’s singing is soft and broken. And I think that’s why many people do not like it. Especially because it seems to be in stark contrast to Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.
But that’s the personality that he wanted to bring to Javert. Whereas many of the other singers focused on the hard and heartless inspector who put his duty to the law and Lord, Crowe brought a man who was a mere shell of that. And before you say that this wasn’t in the book it was. The entire book shows the wonderful conflict inside of Javert, even if it is just a few lines here and there. Because even though he wanted to aspire to this Inspector whose name shall not be forgotten and instead shall strike fear into the hearts of those who fall (as Lucifer fell) he always hit snags. There was always something that seemed to hold him back. Oftentimes, it was his own morality.
Rusell Crowe’s voice isn’t perfect. But it doesn’t have to be. Because Javert isn’t perfect. The way you sing defines you. So Fantine (Anne) would belt out a beautiful but chilling and broken song as you realized her demise. And Valjean (Hugh) would roar out this intense song that lets you know where he stands.
I don’t think that it would have fit Javert to stand on the rooftops and truly bellow out an intense song. Because while that was part of his character, there was also the brokenness and the conflict. And that truly shows up in Russell Crowe’s voice.
It really does.
Perhaps not for the stage. I’ll agree to that. Crowe’s voice works in the movie but he wouldn’t have made it in Broadway. However, there is one aspect to the movie and Javert that Crowe also brought and that was this:
I could go on and on.
His facial expressions - his eyes - they make Javert. They are Javert. They show the conflict. The way I see it, the voice is just a bonus.
__Marauders4EVR 04/26/13 10:42 AM