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Friday, June 28, 2013

Just Things...


A few random things that I decided to cram together in one post...
  • I watched Courageous today!  Yay!  I've been wanting to watch it for over a year, and about a month ago, one of our church members gave us a copy.  It was so. good.  Loved the story, the characters, the action scenes, funny scenes and, last but certainly not least, the tearjerking scenes.  It's the fourth movie I can tick off my 'to watch' list - the other three that I've already watched are Tangled, War Horse and Les Miserables (2012).  The next ones are The Confession (based on the book by Beverly Lewis), Fireproof, October Baby, The Blind Side, The Scarlet Pimpernel (the version) and The King's Speech.  That a lot of movies.
  • Speaking of movies, I'm really hoping that I can watch Scaramouche (1952) sometime soon and review it - it's a little known period drama but I love it.  Especially since it's set in France just before the revolution (*wink*)
  • I've been reading a lot lately (so what else is new?) and I'm planning on doing a post soon with mini-reviews of all of Jane Austen's novels.  I bought a gorgeous hard cover copy of Lady Vernon and Her Daughter (a re-telling of Jane Austen's Lady Susan) at the library (their discarded books table) for only one dollar (who lets great books go at such a low price?!) - I was thrilled :)  It's a bit slow but I still really like it.  Even though it messes with my mind (making Lady Susan good and her brother-in-law bad, etc, etc).  Oh, my dad loaned me his copy of War & Peace.  It's HUGE.
  • I've watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (the one with Dick Van Dyke) several times (that's what having younger sibs will do to you) and I do like most of the songs (rather childish, though...) but I'd never really listened to the soundtrack, Original London Cast Recording, etc.  But.  I was on Youtube a couple of nights ago and I decided to look up the original recording because I was bored (you know how that goes).  I found it and I clicked on Hushabye Mountain at random.  Intro music came on and then the singing started.  Me: "Waiiiiiit a sec...I know who that is!"  And I'm not going to tell you who it was.  Just go listen to it.  You'll know right away (at least if you're a Les Mis fan - and if you're not, just comment and ask).
  • And while we're on the subject of musicals...there are really only four that I truly like.  Les Miserables (obviously!), A Tale of Two Cities, The Scarlet Pimpernel (okay, I actually only like two songs out of the whole thing but, hey, they're amazing songs) and Oliver! (Samantha Barks is brilliant as Nancy, I'm telling you).  And, funny coincidence, they're all based on classic books :)  Those kinds of musicals are really the best.  Although there are some musicals based on books that go a little too far, in my opinion.  Like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  Seriously?  How can you make a musical out of that?
  • I think I'm experiencing burn-out from writing so much of my novel so fast and I've been dragging my feet about it over the past few days.  However, I got an idea for a short story today and I think I'm going to write it.  Since it's a short story, I don't have to worry too much about plot bunnies and it'll probably rejuvenate me :)




Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nick of Time & Time Pirate {Two Reviews}

Nick of Time (Nick McIver, #1)
The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his sister, Kate, begin gathering vital information for Winston Churchill as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion. But the Nazis become the least of Nick’s problems after he discovers a time machine hidden in a cove. Unfortunately, the evil pirate Captain Billy Blood, who travels through time capturing little children and holding them for ransom, will stop at nothing to possess the priceless machine. With the help of Lord Hawke, whose children have been taken by Blood, Nick must fight the ruthless pirate on land and sea in two different centuries in a desperate attempt to save his home and his family from being utterly destroyed.

*****

This is the kind of book that makes me feel that my writing is shoddy and underwhelming (it's not really, but you get what I mean).  This book ties a fantastic plot, amazing characters and heart pounding (literally!) suspense together through brilliant writing style and technique.  I discovered it quite by accident when I was browsing our library's shelves - the story line looked interesting and I'd always been intrigued with time travel books (although I hate it when the characters in those books want desperately to get back to the present but they don't know how).  It's a big book but I read it in just one sitting - and emerged feeling dazed (that always happens to me when I read through a new book non-stop).

There are actually two plots in Nick of Time - the 'modern day' fight against the Nazis just before WWII (taken on by two of the characters - Commander Hobbes and six-year-old Katie) and the time travel plot with Nick, Lord Hawke and Nick's best friend, Gunner (who was a pilot and then sailor in WWI).  To tell you the truth, after I read this book for the first time, I've always skipped the chapters that have to do with the time travel plot (once they actually travel back in time), because the 'Nazi plot' is so edge-of-your-seatish.  But the time travel plot is great as well :)  It's just that the other one is better, IMO.

I love, love, love the characters in Nick of Time.  My two favorites would definitely be Hobbes and Katie (which is probably why I like the modern plot better than the time travel one).  I may have the teeniest bit of a literary crush on Hobbes because he's very proper, very British, rather amusing, a loyal friend and absolutely brilliant when it comes to the execution of daring plots.  I like Lord Hawke a lot, though.  He lost his children when they were only five and six (they didn't die - it's wrapped up in the whole time travel thing) and he's depressed about it even though it happened years ago.  So he holes up in Hawke Castle, surrounds the place with an air of mystery and becomes a recluse, all the while trying to figure out how to travel through time so that he can rescue his children.  Nick and Gunner are great too although in my opinion, they're even better in the sequel, Time Pirate.  Billy Blood and his companion, Snake Eye are positively evil.  And immensely scary (the illustrations don't help - btw, the illustrations are a.m.a.z.i.n.g.).  Perfect villains.

Okay.  So.  The whole book is a page turner but the last few chapters are so tense and so adrenaline fueled that you will not be able to put the book down.  Even after reading it about four times, I still find myself totally caught up in the drama.  It's just...wow.  Oh, and Lord Hawke is Winston Churchill's nephew.  Just a bit of randomness there =)  Read this book.  You won't regret it.  I promise.

________________________

The Time Pirate (Nick McIver, #2)It’s 1940 and the Nazis are invading Nick’s beloved home, the British Channel Islands. So Nick takes to the skies: He has discovered an old World War One fighter plane in an abandoned barn. Determined to learn to fly, he is soon risking life and limb to photograph armed German minelayers and patrol boats, and executing incredibly perilous bombing raids over Nazi airfields by night.

     Meanwhile, the evil pirate, Captain Billy Blood, still desperate to acquire Nick’s time machine, returns to Greybeard Island. He kidnaps Nick’s sister, Kate, and transports her back to Port Royal, Jamaica, in the year 1781, leaving Nick a message that if he wants to see her alive again, he must come to Jamaica and make an even swap: Kate’s life in exchange for Nick’s wondrous time machine—that’s Blood’s bargain.

 *****

I read Time Pirate only a few days ago after learning that there actually was a sequel to Nick of Time.  Since I liked the first book so much, I (naturally) had really high hopes for the second one and I was not disappointed.  There's a lot more of Nick and Gunner in this book (and a lot less of Lord Hawke and Hobbes) and I liked them a lot better the second time around, so to speak.  

There were quite a few differences in this book from the previous one - the author jumped around a lot more with the points-of-view (which I didn't mind - but it was a bit confusing at first), there weren't really two separate plots (I appreciated the whole time travel angle a lot more) and I could just tell that the plot/characters/technique had matured.  

A few random things I thought I should mention:  One thing I really liked was that Hobbes made an exact replica of the Tempus Machina (Nick's time machine) to fool Billy Blood with.  For some reason, I loved that plot point.  There was a new character introduced in this book (for the life of me, I can't remember her name - her code name is 'Flower', though) - she's a spy and she helps Nick hide out from the Nazis one time.  I liked how she buttered up the Nazi commandant and got information from him (I love spy stories).  And this is really random...Nick and Katie and Gunner are caught by Blood and they're going to be executed and they're taken to the guillotine (although they don't die - it happens early in the story, so I didn't think that was a spoiler).  And, you know, I'm sort of interested in the French Revolution, so I liked (?) that little touch.

There was one thing that I found a bit unbelievable (besides the whole concept of time travel) - Nick is only thirteen and he flew his dad's plane and wreaked havoc on a Nazi air base.  He just seemed so young.  Other than that, I really enjoyed this book (especially since it gave me an emotional experience - like the first one) and I would highly recommend it.  I think it could be read as a stand-alone because the prologue backtracks a bit about the first book.  Oh, any American history buffs will enjoy Time Pirate because the time travel plot is all about the American Revolution :)




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gifted Hands



Young Ben Carson didn't have much of a chance. Growing up in a broken home amongst poverty and prejudice, his grades suffered and his temper flared. And yet, his mother never lost her faith in him. Insisting he follow the opportunities she never had, she helped to grow his imagination, intelligence and, most importantly, his belief in himself. That faith would be his gift - the thing that would drive him to follow his dream of becoming one of the world's leading neurosurgeons.

Every once in a long while, I'll watch a movie that I really, really, really like.  Not the kind where I say "Hmmmm...this is a pretty good movie.  I wouldn't mind watching this again..."  It's the kind where, whether or not I'm able to, I want to watch it over and over until I'm sick of it (an unfortunate conclusion to most of my movie obsessions).  And Gifted Hands was one of those movies.  Although I haven't been able to watch it for a second time, I'll definitely be on the look out for an opportunity :)

This film was hugely inspiring, tearjerking (happy tears, though) and all the acting was very well done.  There are some movies that my family and I laugh about because the acting was so overdone.  You know the kind - it's supposed to be serious but it's just hilarious.  Above all, Gifted Hands was interesting.  There were no scenes that made me think - "Well, this boring.  I should skip it the next time I watch it".  One thing I really liked was that Ben Carson loves classical music (like me) and he plays it while he does surgeries :)

The movie bounces back and forth a bit - it starts with a couple asking Ben to perform surgery on their baby twins who are joined at the head, then it goes back to him as a child and stays there most of the film and then bounces forward to the present where he performs the surgery.  That part was nail-bitingly tense because they were under heavy time constraints.  Oh, and I knew the piece of music that was playing during that particular operation, so that was neat :)


This is a rather short review but, please, go watch this movie (it's available on Youtube).  It's clean, fast-paced, not too long (you could probably watch it in one sitting) and it's an amazing Christian movie.



Sunday, June 09, 2013

A Tale Of Two Cities: The Musical


[this is not a review.  it's a bunch of ramblings that have no rhyme or reason.  just to let you know.]

Until yesterday, I'd never been able to find a musical that rivaled Les Miserables because Les Mis is perfect and my mom won't let me watch Phantom of the Opera and I'm not in the least interested in Wicked (or any of the other musicals of that kind).  I was talking to Ally about the Scarlet Pimpernel musical and listening to a couple of songs from it that she had recommended (Into The Fire and Madame Guillotine are EPIC, btw).  I was looking for some actual clips of the songs on Youtube...and accidentally stumbled across A Tale Of Two Cities: Live In Concert (sort of like the 10th or 25th Les Mis concerts).  

The odd thing was that a few nights ago I had read an abridged version of the story (my mom won't let me read the full thing because she's going to teach it to me next year in school).  It was actually a Wishbone version *blush* with Wishbone as Charles Darnay.  Anyway, I watched the whole thing yesterday afternoon and I'm watching it with my mom and my sister now.  I told her (my sister) all about the plot last night and she couldn't wait to see it :)


The cast was amazing.  The woman who plays Lucie - Brandi Burkhardt - seriously looks like Romola Garai.  At first I thought she was RG and so did my brother.  He came downstairs once when she was singing and he said "Isn't she the girl from Emma?" :)  I didn't like Charles very much (well, I really don't like Charles in general).  His singing was great but I just got an overall feeling of 'meh'.  But.  When he and Sydney were singing 'Let Her Be A Child' and he was tearing up, it almost reconciled me to his performance.  I guess I just like Sydney too much to really like Charles...

SYDNEY WAS AMAZING.  Whenever I read the book, I always pictured him as Hadley Fraser (hmmmmm....I wonder why that would be...) but I think he'll always be James Barbour to me now.  His acting/singing was incredible and absolutely perfect for the character.   All of Sydney's songs were so sad, though.  Although he could be funny as well.  Like when he comes to see Lucie (right after she's accepted Charles' proposal) and she gives him a scarf and since it's quite small, he's rather at a loss to what it is for a moment.  "A SCARF!"  

That was one of the rare times I laughed because, seriously, this musical rivals Les Mis for general heartbreakingness.  There's this line that made me completely lose it - a line during 'If Dreams Came True' (sung by Sydney about Lucie's daughter) that was so sad (at least to me) that I had to turn off the video and have a good cry.


'Knowing her's an endless second chance'

I don't know why that line struck me as being so heartbreaking, but it did.  There was another song where Sydney is listening to little Lucie's bedtime prayers ("Now I lay me down to sleep...") and later on at the beginning of 'Let Her Be A Child', there's a reprise of that.  I'm tearing up just thinking about that song.

She mustn't know the sorrow.
She mustn't know the tears.
Tomorrow mustn't bring her,
 A future that she fears.

There were several songs that brought Les Mis to mind, particularly the opening number - 'The Way It Ought To Be' - which reminded me of 'At the End of the Day' and 'Reflection' which reminded me of 'On My Own'.

But when the dawn comes,
And you awaken,
You're still alone.
Nothing real.
Just a dream.

This musical was beautiful.  The costumes (eeeeep!  Sydney has a greatcoat!), the music, the lyrics, the singing, the story...everything was gorgeous.  It's definitely a close second to Les Mis.  And now I want to see it live :)

Have you ever seen A Tale Of Two Cites: The Musical?  What did you think of it?



Saturday, June 08, 2013

Barricade Boys Week - Wrap-up Post


Barricade Boys Week is over, guys.

*tears*

In some ways I'm glad it's over.  It's been quite exhausting (mentally, at least) to keep the posts coming at a steady clip (thankfully I'm an organizer and I had several posts scheduled months before the event), respond to comments and answer emails about the barricade boys musical.  And I'll be able to get back to my writing now.

But on the other hand, I'm sad to see it all end.  I feel like singing Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (hence the above picture - I thought it was fitting).  It's been such an amazing week.  Dozens of comments (even though it was a chore to keep up with it all, I loved the reader participation and sense of camaraderie), four new followers (making a total of sixty-six) and just general awesomeness.  And I learned so much more about the barricade boys this week, due to guest posts and research for my own posts.  We love you, guys.  Even if you never actually existed.

Vive the barricade boys!

Vive Les Miserables!

The End.

Winners


The final poll for the mini-tournament was realy close - a difference of only two votes.  But I'm very happy to say that the winner is...

Combeferre


As for the winners of the giveaway...

Amy (pendant)
Sydney (cockade)
Eowyn (bracelet)

*sigh*  Barricade Boys Week is almost over :(



Friday, June 07, 2013

Defending Grantaire

"I am wild" ~ Grantaire, Les Miserables


I wasn't planning to write a post defending Grantaire this week - or any other time, for that matter.  For one, I never seem to get my thoughts across in these types of posts (at least I don't think I do).  The other thing was - I didn't think Grantaire needed defending.  I'd always assumed that everyone in the fandom liked him as much as I do (or even more).  It wasn't until I started the mini-tournament that I realized there are some people who don't like Grantaire.  So I'm writing this post to defend him and hopefully change your mind (if you don't like him).

I can understand when people say he's not one of their favorites.  He's an alcoholic, loud, annoying at times and really cynical.  That being said...in my opinion, musical-Grantaire is relatively easy to like.  He has an awesome friendship with Gavroche, some of the best lines (his part in Drink With Me comes to mind) and he's generally a great guy.  In the brick, however, it's quite a different matter...

If Les Mis characters were fonts, this would be Grantaire

To understand Grantaire in the brick, you have to understand his backstory.  Where his cynicism and self-doubt came from.  The following is a theory, passed on to me by a friend, of why Grantaire is the way he is.  Because he couldn't have been born a cynic.  There has to be a reason for it, right?  

When he was really young, he was basically like Gavroche - living on the streets - the only difference being that he was an orphan.  As he grew up and really started noticing the poverty around him, he was determined to help the other poor people so he became somewhat like Enjolras...passionate, willing to fight and die for other peoples' freedoms, etc.  But after a speech-turned-riot killed his best friend, he gave up.  He didn't want to see anyone else that he cared about, die, so he gave up the cause.

Even though Grantaire became a cynic, he couldn't help his innate better qualities from coming to light.  He once said that if he had any money, he would give it to the poor because money means nothing to him.  When a boy comes to Bossuet on the morning of June 5th with a message from Enjolras, Grantaire (and Joly and Bossuet) gives him some money without hesitating.  And tells him to stay and have breakfast with them because it's not only raining - it's unsafe.  Grantaire makes a massive effort not to care about anything when his natural predisposition is to care about everything.  He doesn't want his friends to die in the coming battle, so he speaks out against the cause.

He was ironic and warmhearted.  His indifference was loving.  His mind dispensed with faith but his heart could not dispense with friendship.

And then there's Enjolras and Grantaire.


I honestly think this is one areas where Enjolras is wrong.  Completely wrong.  Grantaire isn't like the other students and sometimes Enjolras is really just mean to him.  Consider...

"You don't believe in anything," Enjolras said.
"I believe in you."
"Grantaire, would you do me a favor?"
"Anything you like - I'd black your boots."
"No need, just keep out of our affairs.  Stick to your absinthe."
"That's ungrateful of you, Enjolras."

See what I mean?  Now I'll admit that Grantaire doesn't follow through with his promise to Enjolras in that chapter, but maybe if Enjolras had shown a little more faith in him, he might have...

Of course, in the end, Grantaire redeems himself by dying with Enjolras - in what is probably the most iconic scene in the fandom.  When I first read the brick, I hardly knew anything about Les Mis (I had just watched the 10th - that was all I knew of it) and I didn't know how Enjolras died.  I was zipping through chapters in the dead of night to find it and read it before I went to sleep.  I was weird back then =)  Anyway, I found it.  I was reading along, doing fine although I was tearing up because Enjolras was going to die.  And then Grantaire woke up.  Now, I had pretty much forgotten that Grantaire even existed at that point and I was totally not prepared for what happened next.  I was cryyyyyying.  I still do.


And there it is.  My defense of Grantaire.  All I can say is...if you don't like Grantaire, I hope this post has made you rethink your position at least a little bit.  And if you do like him, well...

*cyber high-five*

The End.



Barricade Boys Week - Guest Post By Sierra

Sierra's blog - I Dreamed A Dream

We’ve all seen the supposed onstage ‘friendship’ between Enjolras and Marius, or in the case of Ramin and Nick, an annoyed older brother.  Of course, this ‘friendship’ isn’t a bad thing, but because of it another friendship - one that’s been around much longer - is often overlooked.  Now, if you’ve read the brick then you will know what I’m talking about, and if not you’re missing out. Don’t worry though; I’m here to introduce you to the timeless brilliance of Combeferre and Enjolras and key moments within the book, as well as subtle signs that made its way into the film.  

So, first of all we have the wonderful brick to which we owe everything.  And what better way to start than with what I believe is one of the most popular chapters among the fan-girls?  Yep, ‘The Group that Nearly Missed Becoming Historic’ (Aren’t all the boys just amazing?).  Right off, Hugo tells us that ‘At the side of Enjolras, who represented the logic of revolution, was Combeferre, representing its philosophy…Combeferre supplemented and restrained Enjolras.”  Can’t you just see the passionate and driven Enjolras getting a bit out of control with his revolution? Who was there to keep the ideas and actions within the will of the people? Combeferre, the gentler yet equally passionate revolutionist, who wanted a revolution without hurting the people. Because of this he became Enjolras right hand man; Combeferre was able to offer advice on how to handle the students, explain examples of other rebellions throughout history, introduce new ideas through his extensive reading, but most importantly Combeferre became someone Enjolras shared his dreams and fears with because he understood what the Les Amis were about to face. 

Sadly, I don’t think Hugo realized that his novel would become the target of teenage girls’ hearts during the 21st century. If he had, maybe (and I say this loosely) he would have written more about the daily lives of the boys, who they loved (although we do hear a bit of that from Joly and Laigle), and how they felt during the years before that fateful day in early June.  The first time we see Enjolras and Combeferre teaming up is after Marius has shown up at the Café Musain. Marius, of course, is embarrassing himself by lecturing the students on France and the empire. Let’s face it, in the book, Marius needs to figure out which side of the fence he’s on. Anyhow, Marius is kind of sitting there all smug, but then Combeferre answers a ‘what is greater than’ question with three simple words - “to be free.”  The statement then and now is so profound and meaningful that it makes us stop and think, what is better than being free? Clearly the answer had the same effect on Marius. A few moments later, we find the room empty except for Enjolras and Marius, and the fading notes of Combeferre’s song, ‘I love my mother more than silver and gold.’ Enjolras explains to the puzzled Marius that their mother is France, that they love their country more than life itself. Without knowing it, Combeferre and Enjolras lay out the whole reasoning behind the barricade in that single scene. 
                
Another one of my favorite little bits is right before the first attack after the barricade has been built and Enjolras has just shot a murderer. He gives a speech about how those who kill without cause must be killed, that those that give up their lives for the greater good will be rewarded, that they are about to face death. You can just feel Enjolras starting to falter and wonder if he made the right choice. Combeferre walks up, places his hand on Enjolras shoulder, and bravely says that, “We will share your fate!” In a way it gives Enjolras the assurance to move forward, since he now knows his friends will follow him through fire, so he talks about love and how, “love is the future, I have had to resort to death, but I hate it. In the future, citizens, there will be no more darkness!” This is an epic part where you stop and ask, ‘who’s talking, Enjolras or Combeferre?’ because you see these softer tendencies hinted at in Enjolras’ words and you realize that Combeferre has impacted Enjolras, and has shown him what it is like to see beyond the fight and beyond the horizon to a world where there is no more pain. Enjolras stopped looking at their cause as only for France, but for the whole world of mankind. 

                 
Now, what kind of Les Miserables fan would I be if I didn’t add one of the last recorded conversations between Enjolras and Combeferre?  The barricade is being weakened by continued grapeshot, so Enjolras takes aim at a young sergeant who’s controlling the guns. Combeferre, who seems to be continually at Enjolras’ side notices, that Enjolras doesn’t look at the young man’s face. The following conversation takes place.

“What a shame….you’re aiming at that sergeant, but Enjolras you don’t look at him. He looks like a charming young man, and he is certainly brave…these young men are educated. No doubt he has a family to provide for, a father and mother. He is probably in love. He cannot be more than twenty-five! He could be your brother.” 
“He is.”
“Yes, and mine too. Please, let’s not kill him.” 
“We must. It must be done.” 

A tear rolls down Enjolras cheek as he pulls the trigger. The chief is crying and I’m sure Combeferre comforted Enjolras with a word and a sad smile.

*****

Goodness, if you’ve made it down that far….we'll take a quick look at all the little epic Enjolras and Combeferre moments that Killian and Aaron perfected during the movie. I just wish Tom Hooper would have put a bit more focus on their friendship, but I guess we fangirls will make the most of what we have! :)

See 'Ferre in the background? :)
First off we have the epic scene in the Café Musain, the boys are talking loudly, Courfeyrac’s carrying up more rifles, and if you listen closely you can actually hear Combeferre saying “Enjolras…” and so I’m sure we can take that as “Enjolras said/says –insert whatever was cut off-“  since he was talking to the other boys. Maybe he’s defending Enjolras love for Patria or making sure the boys are carrying out an order?  Combeferre also seems to be keeping some of the students in the background on track with their work as Enjolras starts in on ‘the time is near, so near its stirring the blood in their veins.’  It’s definitely an echo of Ferre being Enjolras’ right hand man instead of Marius. You can also see him and Enjolras talking over a paper before Marius interrupts them with his ‘ghost’ story.  Just watch how Combeferre hangs on Enjolras’ every word after it’s announced that Lamarque is dead. Combeferre already knows they’re walking to their grave, but he’s awed by Enjolras’ courage. Which is why as Marius and even Enjolras are momentarily distracted by Eponine, (yes, I ship Enjonine) you see Combeferre referring to sites for the barricade.
Next we have a few brief moments in ‘One Day More’ where Enjolras and Combeferre are preparing their pistols and other weapons.  It seems that Combeferre, although he’s been pushed into the background on stage and in the movie, won’t give up on being Enjolras’ best friend. 


Then we’re at the funeral, the boys for the moment are being backed by the people. We see Combeferre shouting and Enjolras taking the lead. The Friends of the ABC proceed through the streets until faced for the first time with opposition. Who is it down there standing on the streets trying to protect and save ‘an innocent woman?’ Yep, our wonderful and brave Combeferre. Actually he’s the first you see following Enjolras’ cry ‘to the barricades!’ since we get a glimpse of his super awesome coat before Marius over takes him on his horse (silly Marius). Then is that Combeferre helping to pull a wagon? I think so. Clearly he and Enjolras had the barricade planned out to perfection.  Combeferre also shows up again to give Javert a pistol after he tells Enjolras that he’ll spy on the National Guard. I’m thinking Combeferre and Enjolras can read each other’s minds.

Another super epic moment is when Enjolras and Combeferre are first on the barricade after it has been build. What is more awesome then Enjolras looking down the sights of his rifle and Combeferre brandishing his two pistols? I’m sure not much can compare.

When Javert returns and is uncovered as an enemy spy Combeferre is one of the first to help wrestle him down. After they chase Javert into the café, notice that Combeferre flinches and looks at Enjolras when he knocks Javert out. It’s a parallel from the book. Enjolras was capable of being terrifying whereas Combeferre knew the softer side of revolution. We also see Enjolras looking to Combeferre after Eponine has died, as they both lift her, and realize that she’s the ‘first to fall’. 

Of course, the best echo from their brick friendship is when Enjolras has just given Valjean the spy, Javert. Combeferre’s “No, no Enjolras…” and I’m sure by now we can all see that that sentence was finished by a “I though the people where to decide his fate” Because wasn’t that what they had been fighting for all this time; the right of the people? Which is why you see Combeferre sadly watching Valjean lead Javert away, and in contrast you see Enjolras look a bit hardened when the gun shot rings out. In a way I think there was a bit of regret that he hadn’t listened to Combeferre. 

By now night had come and it’s a new morning, but the day will not last. Before the day is over they will have all died and as Enjolras puts it, “We’re the only ones left.” This is when Combeferre shows his loyalty to Enjolras when they sing one final reprise of ‘Do You Hear the People Sing?’ which I think is a great parallel to the brick's, “we share your fate!” 

Indeed, they do. The barricade falls and we see the boys torn apart until only a few of them are left standing in the upper rooms of the Café Musain. In these few seconds we see the Chief and Guide together in a final attempt to save their friends. Shots ring out and then Enjolras is the only one left to stand, his best friends lying at his feet. It is the bravery of Combeferre, Courfeyrac, Jehan, Jolly and all the others that give him the courage to defy the National Guard in a final act. Alongside Grantaire, the flag is raised in a silence cry of rebellion before falling back to join their friends in a ‘world beyond the barricade.’ 

Thankfully, Tom Hooper knew the amount of fangirls that would be obsessing over this movie, so he gave us plenty of shots of our favorite boys, once again together, something Hugo didn’t think was needed apparently. In those few minutes we see the obvious friendship that all the boys are surrounded by. We are faced with the truth that they did bring the future and I can imagine Combeferre and Enjolras feeling a sense of pride and brotherhood after all they’d been through together.  

Overall, despite countless translations, on-stage productions, and films, the novelty of Enjolras and his right-hand-man will always linger on. Without that friendship the barricade would have fallen much sooner, and in fact it may never have been built. So, what can this teach us? No matter what we need to remember that a true friendship will last through good times, bad times, and even death.

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