So, I was reading over my old posts and I came to the last part of my Les Mis review, and I realized that I'd done something unthinkable.
I forgot to post about Javert's Suicide. Oops! I will now attempt to rectify the situation.
I don't recollect when exactly this part happens in the movie, but I do remember bracing myself for it.
Here is where we get to see Javert's internal struggle between his sense of the law and his sense of what he owes to Jean Valjean, who let him go free. He's been following Valjean for years, intending to get him back in prison where he belongs. Then Valjean has the chance to get rid of him once and for all and be free of his relentless pursuit. If Jean had killed Javert, he could have lived on in freedom without having to worry about prison. But he didn't do that. Why didn't he do that?
Because Jean Valjean had experienced God's forgiveness himself. He was willing to return to a life in the galleys if he had to. To kill Javert would be unthinkable. He forgave him and let him go free. So then Javert kind of had a problem. He couldn't very well imprison a man who had spared him his life; yet Valjean was a convict who had broken parole. This is where the tables turn. Javert would rather die than "live in the debt of a thief." So, singing as he walks along the edge of the bridge above the Seine, he decides to kill himself. Bad choice.
I winced. A lot. That must have really, really hurt.
Javert did his best to do what was right in the eyes of the law, but in the end he was the loser.
I think Russell Crowe's portrayal of Javert was much more sympathetic than in the book. In the book he is much more savage; tigerlike, even, and a relentless hunter. He doesn't believe in God and is for justice above mercy. However, in the musical, Javert seems as though he is trying to do God's will. I'm going to see the older movie version of Les Mis sometime so it will be interesting to compare it with this one. What are your thoughts on Javert?