Name of Film: Les Miserables
Director: Tom Hooper
Genre: Epic Novel
I . Introduction
Les Miserables is a French Novel by Victor Hugo. In the English world, Les Miserables can be translated from the French as The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims. Les Miserables was one of Victor Hugo’s greatest works.
Some of Victor Hugo’s sources came from what happened in his life. Jean Valjean’s character is based on the life of Eugene Francois Vidocq, an ex-convict who became a successful businessman. Vidocq helped Hugo with his research for Claude Gueux and Le Dernier jour d’un condamne (The Last Day of a Condemned Man). In 1828, Vidocq, already pardoned, saved one of the workers in his paper factory by lifting a heavy cart on his shoulders as Jean Valjean does. In 1841, Hugo saved a prostitute from arrest for assault. He used a short part of his dialogue with the police when recounting Valjean’s rescue of Fantine in the novel.
Jean Valjean- The ex-convict who had been imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. Primary protagonist, played by Hugh Jackman. Javert-a police who’s lifelong ambition is to put Jean Valjean back behind bars. Javert was played by Russel Crowe. Fantine- Cosette’s mother. She took care of Cosette after a relationship with a college student who leaves her without marrying and providing anything for their child. She was forced to leave Cosette to the Thenardiers while she works for Cosette’s support. Fantine was played by Anne Hathaway. Cosette- The child of Fantine whom Jean Valjean raises as his granddaughter. Cosette was played by Amanda Seyfried. Thernardier and Madame Thernardier- Husband and wife to whom Fantine left Cosette to be taken care of but instead they treated Cosette as a slave. Played by Sacha Cohen and Helena Carter. Marius- A college student and idealist who falls in love with Cossette. Played by Eddie Redmayne. Eponine- Daughter of the Thernadiers. Falls in love with Marius whom she knows will never love her for more than a friend. Played by Samantha Barks
Les Miserables showed the true meaning of sacrifice and love. Although Valjean despised Marius because he will be taking Cosette away from her and ruin their plans of hiding, Valjean still risked his own life to save the man whom Cosette loves and was willing to sacrifice his own happiness in order to insure Cosette’s joy.
The convict Jean Valjean was released from prison after 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread and for subsequently trying to escape prison. When Valjean arrives at the town of Digne, no one is willing to give him shelter because he is an ex-convict. Desperate, Valjean knocks on the door of a church. M. Myriel the kindly bishop of Digne, treats Valjean with kindness and in return Valjean steals the bishop’s silverware. When the police arrests Valjean, Myriel covers for him, claiming that the silverware was a gift. The police releases Valjean and Myriel makes him an honest man. Eager to change, Valjean changes his identity and enters the town of Montreuil-sur-mer. Under the name of Madeleine, Valjean invents an ingenious manufacturing process that brings the town prosperity. He eventually becomes the town’s mayor. Fantine, a young woman, who lives in Paris, falls in love with a college student who gets her pregnant and abandons her without leaving her anything for the child’s support. Fantine returns to her home village with Cosette. On the way home she realizes she can never find a job if the townspeople know that she has an illegitimate child, so she leaves Cosette to the Thenardiers, a family that runs a local inn. The Thenardiers agree as long as Fantine sends them a monthly allowance. Fantine finds work in Madeleine’s factory. Fantine’s co-workers eventually find out, and she gets fired. Fantine resorts to prostitution to provide for Cosette. One...
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