Eponine, the patron of the friendzoned

Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne as Eponine and Marius in Les Miserables
Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne as Eponine and Marius in Les Miserables

While everyone’s raving about Anne Hathaway’s superb rendition of I Dreamed a Dream and Hugh Jackman’s powerful peformance as Jean Valjean, I am caught under Eponine’s spell.

To those who were born yesterday, here’s IMDB’s character bio for Eponine:

Eponine is one of the most tragic characters in Les Miserables. While living in Paris, she falls in love with Marius Pontmercy. He, however, never sees her more than as a friend, and falls for Cosette. Eponine, so in love with Marius, does as he wishes and leads him to Cosette, and acts as a messenger between the two when Cosette is to leave for England, and Marius is to fight at the barricades. While wondering the empty streets of Paris, on her way to give Marius a note from Cosette, she sings “On My Own” and talks of the deep, unrequited love she feels for Marius. Upon returning to the barricades to give Marius Cosette’s note, she is fatally wounded. On her request, Marius holds her until she dies, here the two sing “A Little Fall of Rain” and Eponine confesses her love to Marius just as she dies.

The character was played by 22-year-old singer-actress Samantha Barks. For a film debut, Samantha did a great job portraying the role, a revelation. She’s totally underrated. I had huge expectations for her because she’ll be singing the most popular song from the musical, On My Own. I have to tell you, I totally felt that scene!

But Samantha’s best performance in the movie was Eponine’s death scene. I cried buckets during those moments. Poignant! Maybe because I can relate to the character’s struggle: the unappreciated love / friendzoned circumstance.

You just know you’ve been affected by a movie character if you keep on singing her song. “But only on my own…”

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