Well, it looks like the South Koreans now have their own version of the popular musical drama, Les Misérables. To fully understand what we’re going to say next, you need to have watched the film or at least the Broadway production.

Two years of military service is mandatory for all able-bodied men in South Korea, which technically remains at war with its rival the North. During service, many of the men enrolled would serve in remote, mountainous areas and get little time off to visit family or friends. But even that kind of luxury cannot be abused or taken for granted as it would result in dire consequences. You remember what happened to K-Pop idol Rain recently, right?


In any case, the 14-minute video was said to have been made to boost morale among the corps. Entitled, “Les Militaribles”, the video parody garnered more than 1,100,000 views in just a few days (it was released on the 5th February 2013 via YouTube).

“Les Militaribles” (try not to pronounce it as, “Les Mili-terribles”) tells the tale of a lovelorn military service recruit and a vindictive superior officer and it uses the same songs from the musical such as “Look Down”, “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Do You Hear the People Sing?” – except, it’s all sung in Korean.  The “cast” in the video, with the exception of the woman playing Cosette, were actual South Korean military conscripts.

Are you ready for this? Watch:

[youtube id=”lZunEARBb6I” width=”600″ height=”350″]

With regards to the purpose of the parody video, Major Cheon Myeong-nyeong told the South China Morning Post:

We made the video to lift the spirit of servicemen who had to work so hard to clear snow during the unusually heavy winter this year. We hope that the video can help shatter the image of the military as a dull place and encourage more youth to take the service with delight.

The video even got a retweet from actor Russell Crowe, who plays Inspector Javert in the Les Misérables film:


“Dig down, dig down, and clear the snow below. There is no end to this accursed snow. Dig down, dig down, you still have two service years to go..”

Sing it!


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Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.