“There is more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher”; Victor Hugo “Les Misérables”, 1862. This gutsy, gritty slice of realism by writer/director Ladj Ly bleeds with the intensity, brutality of the Paris projects; a trio of politically correct police officers, daily patrol the claustrophobic, cacophonous streets of iniquities; cops and budding felons entwined; boundaries, civilities, non- existent; taunted, pushed to their emotional limits, errors occur and the consequences are dire.
With finesse, after viewers are invested in the protagonists and their dimensionless racism, we’re exposed to their sensitivities away from the terror and grime of the projects; in tandem, the unsupervised, quiescent children earn tentative empathy as the futility, sterility of their existence unveils itself; streets are territorial, designed by the fittest according to power, religion and commerce; nerve-shattering ferocity is eased by comic relief, when a baby lion is kidnapped from a traveling circus, a temporary hiatus in the “eye of the storm.”
“There is a point at which the unfortunate and the infamous are associated and confounded in a single word, a fatal word, “Les Misérables.” Misery reigns in this redolent, muscular, accurate narrative.
FOUR STARS!!!! Peneflix