Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo

As is seemingly standard in Notre Dame de Paris, Quasimodo’s depiction is one of the best in any adaption of Hunchback, and for the record I’m getting a little tired saying that. Unlike Frollo and Esmeralda, Quasimodo’s characterization doesn’t differ too much from cast version to cast version. While the role has its complexities and is hard to play the basic tenants of morose, nice and melancholy are not super hard convey, actually isn’t that want actors really want to play? It just make for a likable character.

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo

So what is Quasimodo like in this version? Well, like I just said he is nice and morose, like the book as well as tender which I did not say. Many versions tend to make Quasimodo more sympathetic and sad than showcase his anger over people not liking him for his afflictions. In Notre Dame de Paris his anger isn’t really focused on other people, he wants people to like him, mainly Esmeralda. Most of his solo songs express his longing for love and his anger over his deformities.

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo

More or less akin to the book, Quasimodo’s love for Esmeralda is more pure but unlike the book it’s a little more romantic. Quasimodo makes mentions to Esmeralda’s body, her dancing and his eyes going under her skirt as if he were possessed. He just seems a little more self-aware than book Quasimodo. He also offers her a place at Notre Dame before she needs it.

Quasimodo and Esmeralda Le Pape des fous Helene Segara Garou Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda

Unlike the book, Quasimodo isn’t as in love with Notre Dame. Oh, he likes it as two of his songs indicate but he is nowhere to be seen in the attack segment of the musical, which I’m never letting go of. Really, he gets one song to say Notre Dame is awesome and one other song about the bells though there is a lot of angst in that song. Another kind of sort big difference is that he was in to Esmeralda prior to her giving him water, so he was attracted to her for her beauty, the kindness was a perk. It’s a big difference as in that book Quasimodo hated everyone for not liking him but here it does want people to like him and is mad more or less at God for making him ugly.

Garou as Quasimodo & Helene Segara Danse mon Esmeralda,Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Ending

Quasimodo in Notre Dame de Paris is the closest to the book. Is it perfect? No but there is so much power and pathos to this Quasimodo that no one would hardly ever think about it, unless you’re a Notre Dame de Paris blogger and then you have to think about it.

Next Time Phoebus

Patrick Fiori as Phoebus from Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Patrick Fiori as Phoebus

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame Ma Maison c'est ta maison garou helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame

Notre Dame de Paris is often praised for being accurate to the novel but there are A LOT of differences.

Esmeralda Helene Segara Bohemienne Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda

The biggest one is no Djali, I mean how could they? But in all seriousness, Esmeralda is in this version is a full-fledge Gypsy who at one point in her life knew her mother. As we have seen in other versions, Esmeralda being a Gypsy is the norm over her backstory in the novel where she is the daughter of French woman and stolen, so it’s not big changes considering the film/adaptation history of the character.

tu sais Esmeralda and Clopin Helene Segara Luc Mervil Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Clopin

Clopin also serves as not only the leader of the Gypsies and thieves but as a father figure to Esmeralda, as her mother entrusted Esmeralda to him when she died. Clopin himself is different than other versions as he care for the blight and safety of his people more than previous versions of the character.

Quasimodo and Esmeralda Le Pape des fous Helene Segara Garou Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda

The show opts to start with introducing characters and not the Feast of Fools, except for Quasimodo who appears during that Feast of Fools number. It’s a little unclear if Quasimodo had seen Esmeralda before or if he first saw when she crowned him as the Pope but he does take a liking to her when he is crowned and not when she gave him water.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame Ma Maison c'est ta maison garou helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame

Quasimodo also brings Esmeralda into Notre Dame and offers it to her as a home. Esmeralda has gone into Notre Dame a few times before prior to Quasimodo saving her in different versions but it is the first time Quasimodo invites her in, usually she goes in for another reasons mainly to escape guards. Though in the 1923 version it was to met Phoebus.

Phoebus and Esmeralda Tentative d'enlevement Helene Segara Patrick Fiori Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Phoebus and Esmeralda

Speaking of meeting Phoebus, who liked that segue, Esmeralda and Phoebus arrange to met at a brothel called the Cabaret de Val d’amour whereas in the book they meet a tavern/inn/house called Pomme d’eve. However there is actually a Val d’amour in the book, it is a brothel that Frollo’s brother Jehan frequents.

It just weird that Phoebus would meet a girl, who not 2 seconds before turned him down, at a brothel. Oh well, it’s suppose to make him look sleazy.

Esmeralda on Trial with Frollo Helene Segara Daniel Lavoie Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda on Trial with Frollo

The biggest and most glaring of the differences comes in the second act. First off, Frollo handles Esmeralda’s trail and torture. I would venture a guess that the reason for this is more practical than artistic as they would have needed another singer.

Frollo makes sense to fill this role but it’s just weird. Though and I forgot where I heard it but when Esmeralda confesses she just says something like “I love him, I confess,” and Frollo orders the torture to stop, somewhere Daniel Lavoie (Frollo’s original actor) said that it’s because Frollo loved Esmeralda that what she said was deemed enough. So there ya go.

Esmeralda and Frollo Un matin tu dansais Helene Segara Daniel Lavoie Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Frollo

Also scenes that occur in Notre Dame after Esmeralda is brought there do not happen. The Port de Rouge scene and the scene where Frollo gives Esmeralda the final ultimatum are merged into the Jail scene, which is fine, they blended nicely together.

Also Frollo just likes science in general and not just alchemy which is just minor change and a nitpick.

Quasimodo freeing Esmeralda Liberes Helene Segara garou Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo freeing Esmeralda

Another BIG difference is Quasimodo saving Esmerlada, Clopin and the rest of the Court of Miracles. Everyone knows that Quasimodo descends from Notre Dame, saves Esmeralda and proclaims sanctuary while holding her aloft but not here.

In fact Quasimodo never says Sanctuary. He claims freedom for her but he never says “Sanctuary.” The closest is Clopin says “Asile” which can means sanctuary although is closer to asylum. And I’m now resisting making a Asylum Films joke.

Also Quaismodo is no where to be seen when the attack on Notre Dame is occurs. It really seems to be Clopin who is defending the cathedral and not Quasimodo, which just wrong.

Esmeralda about to be hung Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda about to be hung

Phoebus is there though and he is the one who proclaims Esmeralda’s death sentence as it’s what his fiancee wants. It a like more of a twist of the knife as Esmeralda was still in love with Phoebus when he passed judgment on her although that did not happen in the book but it makes for good drama.

Fleur-de-Lys and Phoebus Julie Zenatti Patrick Fiori Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Fleur-de-Lys and Phoebus

Lately and this is a good change, Phoebus‘ fiancee, Fleur-de-Lys has a must more of a fleshed-out character. In the book we know she loves Phoebus and jealous of Esmeralda but not too much more.

Here we see more of her inner workings. She knows Phoebus spouts lies and she was ok with that till Esmeralda came along. Unlike the novel where Esmeralda was only meant to be a one night thing for Phoebus, here Phoebus wanted to balance them out. This makes Fleur-de-Lys go a little crazy and pending on what version you watch, she either wishes for Phoebus to ensure Esmeralda’s death or demands it of him. It’s just nice to see the character have a little bit going for her than nothing.

I’m sure there are many more difference but those are the core ones.

Next Time – Esmeralda

Helene Segara singing Ave Maria Paien in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Helene Segara singing Ave Maria Paien in Notre Dame de Paris

 Garou Helene Segara Quasimodo and Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda

 

One of Notre Dame de Paris‘ core weaknesses is the way it presents the story. The narrative is very patchy and filled with a lot little gaps. To really understand what is happening you have to know that story before going into it.

 garou Bruno Pelletier Gringoire spotting Quasimodo during the Feast of Fools Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Gringoire spotting Quasimodo during the Feast of Fools

 

For instance it takes seven songs for the story to get to the beginning of the book. Before that it’s all set-up plus a few lines that marginally tell us about the characters. But seven songs for the Feast of Fools to start. And the plot kind of trots at weird pace, giving us the bare minimum to get to the plot points

Garou as Quasimodo & Helene Segara Danse mon Esmeralda,Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Ending

However the larger point of the musical isn’t so much to tell the story of Hunchback, as I suspect the creators were under the impression that the audience already knew the story prior to seeing it but the to tell the emotions of the story which the musical does very well. The emotions in this musical are like that of The Phantom of the Opera, over-the-fucking-top, I still get misty eyed during Danse Mon Esmeralda. Does that excuse the musical for some of its jarring weirdness?

 Luc Merville Clopin and the Court of miracles and the Attack of Notre Dame Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Clopin and the Court of miracles and the Attack of Notre Dame

Nope. I don’t care how emotional effective the songs are, so many of the transitions from emotion to pivotal story points are down right jarring. For instance to get from Phoebus’ song, Dechire, when he sings about two ladies wanting him to Quasimodo’s punishment we have the bridge song Anarkia which is 42 seconds to explain Gringoire being married, the word “Ankaria” and then OMG look it’s Quasimodo, let’s go check that out. Or how about going from the lovely song where Esmeralda sings about wanting to live to BAM attack on Notre Dame. And for the record Notre Dame de Paris sports a very sloppy hastily done attack scene. First off Quasimodo is not around, Frollo can just end sanctuary and I’m unclear if Clopin and the court of miracles are defending Notre Dame or attacking it.

Daniel Lavoie Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Frollo

 

Despite the narrative weakness, Notre Dame de Paris is faithful in some ways to the book. For instant the fate of the characters is all on point and this is the best portrayal of Frollo in any version outside the book, even better than the opera that Hugo himself wrote the lyrics to.

 Garou Helene Segara Quasimodo and Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda

It is easy to over look the weak story telling of Notre Dame de Paris because you do get lost in the big emotions. Does that make it ok? No, but thank goodness the musical is so powerful, that is its very mighty strength.

Next Time – Differences between the book and the musical, (I wrote them once for my Hubpage, so outline, done)

Helene Segara as Esmeralda and Daniel Lavoie as Frollo NOtre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Frollo

We finished reading/blogging about the Novel of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I hoped you guys found it enjoyable, sorry it took so long, so many chapters.

I can’t tell you how many times I have read this, at least four all the way through. Reading this time I found some flaws with the book. Like it’s very slow to start and Hugo bogs down the narrative with a lot of names of people that don’t matter in the scheme of things. Is this bad? No, not really, it’s a style but once you get through Hugo’s essays and long descriptions of Paris and the plot finally gets going the book is great.

Notre Dame de Paris Belle Esmeralda Helen Segara, Garou Quaismodo, Frollo Daniel Lavoie Phoebus Patrick fiori picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Belle with Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Patrick Fiori and Helene Segara

I love how in some parts the book are a bit silly and how other parts are so tragic, so many emotions and for the most part the movie get the emotional resonants of book but they really do just focus on Quasimodo’s emotions and not Frollo.

I think it’s understandable why, at the end Quasimodo is just more likable and understandably tragic. I just wish Frollo got as much time with his core emotional scenes as Quasimodo gets. To do that some actor would need to spear-head that vanity-project with himself as Frollo and not Quasimodo.

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo and Christopher Gable as Gringoire 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo and Christopher Gable as Gringoire

 

I think what a lot of version miss is the madness of the time, that is why Frollo original lie about sanctuary being dispelled is so important. It started off small and then exploded leading to the death a of great many people including most of the main characters. Films should try to work it in better instead not at all. The book isn’t so long that a film couldn’t add it but a mini-series would be better, like by the BBC, they do good work.

All in all the Hunchback of Notre Dame is a great book to read  even if you just skim parts and/or skip the essays and a bird-eye view of Paris. It really paints a great picture of the late medieval period and has a great range of emotions.

Book 11, Chapter 2, La Creature Bella Bianco Vestita

The Death of Esmeralda (Alessandra Ferrari), World Tour Cast Notre Dame de Paris, Crocus City picture image

The Death of Esmeralda (Alessandra Ferrari), World Tour Cast Notre Dame de Paris, Crocus City

We have two deaths in this chapter, Frollo and Esmeralda. Poor Esmeralda is hanged right in front of Frollo and Quasimodo. Frollo gives out a terrible laugh and Quasimodo pushes him off of Notre Dame. Frollo clings to a gutter, much like the Disney version, but he falls and lands on a roof. He finally dies when he fall of the roof and on to the pavement. The sight of Esmeralda and Frollo both dead it too much for Quasimodo and he utters “ Oh, all that I ever loved.”

 

The 1956 almost got it but it cuts to Monfaucon before the tragic line can be uttered. The 1977 version does play out this scene well to a point but it’s ruined with Gringoire being like “yay, I’m alive” and people dancing around while Esmeralda’s body swings on the gibblet and Frollo’s corpse litters the pavement. Notre Dame de Paris does this scene really well even thought the line isn’t said  but the emotional impact more than makes up for it.

 

Book 11, Chapter 3, Marriage of Phoebus

Lilly-Jane Young as Fleur de Lys & Stephen Webb as Phobus, Notre Dame de Paris Asian Tour picture image

Lilly-Jane Young as Fleur de Lys & Stephen Webb as Phobus, Notre Dame de Paris Asian Tour

This chapter give us closure on Gringoire and Phoebus. Gringoire saved Djali and wrote tragedies so he has a “punny” tragic ending. Phoebus wasn’t so lucky he got a tragic ending too but he got married. Victor Hugo at the time he wrote The Hunchback was unhappy in his marriage. After the birth of his youngest daughter, Adele, his wife ended their intimate relationship as she had a lover. Hugo also had a lover but he was he down on the institution.

The 1977 stupid dance at the end is actually Phoebus’ wedding and in Notre Dame de Paris Phoebus and Fleur de Lys exchange a look that indicates they are heading for marriage, so this chapter have been referred to in these versions.

 

Book 11, Chapter 4, Marriage of Quasimodo

Garou as Quasimodo & Helene Segara Danse mon Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Danse Mon Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris

This chapter always leaves me with a tear in my eye, it’s so bittersweet. After Esmeralda’s death Quasimodo disappears from Notre Dame. Roughly two years later at Monfaucon two skeletons are found in embrace one is Esmeralda and the other is Quasimodo. Quasimodo had sneaked in and laid down beside Esmeralda and died. As Quasimodo’s remains do not belong there, the men try to remove them but they crumbling to dust. Quasimodo crumbling to dust and erasing his existent from the Earth bring the them of Ananke full -circle.

So sad and quite lovely. One version has done this scene pretty much while another just hints at it. The one that did it was 1956 version, though we are just told about the the Quasimodo turning to dust. Instead we just see him settle down next to Esmeralda. It was done well. But Notre Dame de Paris which hints at it does this scene amazingly well. It because the song, Danse Mon Esmeralda, is so full of emotional impact that the tears just flow. It’s so sad …………….

We’re done, next week some final thoughts.

At its core the Hunchback of Notre Dame is a drama but that  hasn’t stop people from making it into a  happy children story about an ugly ducking, social commentary, a comedy and it was almost was a jazzy action-adventure (prove me wrong Brolin and make it).

But what other genres could a Hunchback version be and how would the story have to change to satisfy the genre tropes.

Moodiness Esmeralda (Maureen O'Hara) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Moodiness Esmeralda (Maureen O’Hara) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Horror– This one is so easy, I’m more than surprise no one has bother to make a more horror-y or at least creepy version since the hallmark film is a “monster’ movie.

There is a movie called the Hunchback of the Morgue which has elements in common with Hunchback and Frankenstein but I haven’t  seen it as of yet.  It sounds terrible,  also I’m fan of gory films.

 

Phoebus Rallies the People Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Phoebus Rallies the People Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Action-Adventure– I know I mention this one already, but it could work I think. The plot would have to changed a lot though. I think the only method to make this genre work is some kind of treasure hidden in Notre Dame which kind of was done but not really. Notre Dame’s treasure that was Frollo’s motivation in the Secret of the Hunchback but it wasn’t an action-adventure movie, it hardly a movie.

But Hunchback isn’t devoid of action so they could just amp that up and looting the cathedral was part of allure of the attack of it by the Court of Miracles. So it could really work.

Danielle Dumont as Fleur de Lys, 1956 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Danielle Dumont as Fleur de Lys, 1956 Hunchback of Notre dame

Romanic Comedy– Groans. Hunchback as a chick flick might be a tough sell but  maybe. I dunno. It would have be very light hearted and almost  parody. Maybe Hunchback should stay clear of this one.

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo from Notre Dame de Paris

Musical – Well there have been musical versions but not one from a stage show. I personally love the idea of a Notre Dame de Paris film version but I’m sure it would get messed up.

Maybe they could Jukebox musical, those are easy and people like them enough. Can’t you just see Quasimodo singing “I would do anything for love,” the thing writes itself.

Melody, a.k.a Not Esmeralda in Jail awaiting death, Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody, a.k.a Not Esmeralda in Jail awaiting death

Fantasy – Just add magic and stilted dialogue, easy.

Phoebus and Esmeralda get comfortable (Maureen O'Hara, Alan Marshal) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Phoebus and Esmeralda, Maureen O’Hara, Alan Marshal 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Film Noir– Everyone seem to want to overly sexualize Esmeralda anyway so just go for it and make her a full-on Femme Fatal, you know you want to Hollywood.

Quasimodo singing Heaven's Light Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo singing Heaven’s Light Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Kaiju– No, No, No but the image of 100 foot Quasimodo destroying Tokyo is very silly probably too silly.

 

Do you have any suggestions for different genres for Hunchback? Leave it in the comments along with how to change Hunchback to fit the genre.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsSH9ifRwds

 

Every so often, the original French trio of Belle, Garou, Daniel Lavoie and Patrick Fiori, sing Belle. It’s alway nice to see and and hear Belle sung by these three.  I love how Lavoie is hold his hand like he did in the show.

Get the original version of Belle sung by these three here, I love this song

Garou and Daniel Lavoie sing Belle at the International Jazz festival on June 28th 2013. They split Phoebus’ verse. It’s a great version of the song very soft. They have great chemistry. They also sing   Je voudrais voir New York, which is very nice too

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris image picture

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris

A question that comes up a lot is about Quasimodo’s hair. Why does he have red hair? I recently saw this asked on http://notredamedeparisfans.tumblr.com/. Quasimodo in both Notre Dame de Paris and Disney version is depicted as having red hair. Other version also have him with red hair.  And the answer is very simple, it’s in the original novel. Quasimodo has red hair in the book. In Book 1 chapter 5 entitled “Quasimodo” It says “…..A huge head, bristling with red hair….” as part of Quasimodo description. It’s on page 50 for those who have the Barnes Nobel version.

Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo’s Reveal Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

So why did Hugo pick red for Quasimodo’s hair color? Well the reason could be that there was a medieval belief that red hair marked a beastly sexual desire and moral degeneration. Or it makes him more of a social outcast than if he had a blond, black or brown hair.

Anthony Hopkins as Quasimodo from the 1982 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, picture image

Anthony Hopkins as Quasimodo from the 1982 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Though why Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris sometimes has red hair is a different question. I mean I the first person cast had black hair (Noa), Helene Segera has brown but against the red light looks reddish. Then when Julie Zenatti was cast she got the red hair as well as France D’Amour. Since then of the more than a few other opted for red hair.

Frances d'Amour as Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Frances d’Amour as Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris