An aside: if that little camera on top of my computer was on and you could see into the man-cave, you would see that my Obsessive Compulsion Orderliness does not extend to the physical world of aforementioned man-cave.
Okay then. I've been worried over those mental/spiritual transformations of 24601 and Javert in Les Mis, the movie. In the stage musicals and in the movie, JVJ is driven to his transformation by witnessing the extraordinary mercy of the cure(please mentally insert a gravure mark above the e). Now in the movie and the musical, I never quibbled over that transformation, and neither did I quibble over Javert's transformation in the other direction. The blacks and whites which defined his world in terms of bads and goods get turned around on him by seeing JVJ's act of mercy once JVJ has Javert in his power. In the movie and the musical these two transformations kind of fit, and who pays that much attention amidst three different songs going on on the fore-stage at the same time and the dance troupe is cavorting across stage-rear.
I got into this worry after a discussion with my youngest daughter over what kind of performance Russel Crowe gave in the movie. I thought about 24601's transformation in the beginning and I rode along with it just fine to the end. Javert's transformation (in the musical and the movie) at the end felt like more of a credibility stretch. But you know, after hours of dazzling stage and screen hoop-de-rah, how big a deal is that? Well barring OCO it wouldn't be. I went to Barnes and Noble and bought the book, and I reread the transformation of JVJ.
24601 was not transformed by witnessing the incredible mercy, kindness, and forgiveness of the priest. That maybe kind of opened the door, but the transformational truth did not enter in just then. Later with the priest's silver in a sack on his back, JVJ encounters a young boy and he steals a sou from the boy. That transforms him, when just after the priest's kindness, he sees his own baseness, his depravity. That transforms him. And to me that rings true. Alcoholics cannot begin to recover until they declare to themselves that I am low, and this level of low is the by-God bottom.
That sort of trigger for the transformation seems to me to be essential for the Javert transformation to despair and suicide as well.
It is not seeing good, but inescapably coming face to face with the evil residing in one's soul that drives both transformations in Les Mis.
Getting that straight obumbrates the question about Russel Crowe's performance.
At the end of the day,
I conclude Victor Hugo was a darned fine writer,
and I feel better,
but I wonder if any one of my daughters will ever go see a movie with me again.