Les Miserables Essay
Posted by Winniem on November 19th, 2018
Les Miserables is a 2012 drama film that begins in 1815 as a peasant; Jean Valjean gets released from jail by prison officer Javert after spending nineteen years. Valjean had been found guilty of stealing bread for his starving sister and family as well as numerous cases of attempting to escape. At first, Valjean does not get welcomed in the streets of Digne and hence sleeps on the streets, angry and bitter. He, however, gets shelter from Digne’s benevolent Bishop Myriel. At night, he steals the bishop's silverware and runs away with it. However when captured, Myriel protects him by pretending that the silverware was a gift and also claims that Valjean had promised to reform. He hence gets released. Myriel forgives Valjean and tells him that God had spared his life and that he should use the money obtained from the sale of the silverware to make an honest man of him. Six years later, Valjean under the name Monsieur Madeleine starts a factory, gets appointed as mayor and brings prosperity to the town of Montreuil. At the same time, Javert gets promoted to the new chief of police in the town (Hugo, 1994).
Meanwhile, Fantine a poor young girl who had got burdened with an illegitimate child comes to Montreuil seeking for employment. She entrusts her daughter, Cosette to an innkeeper and his wife, the Thenardiers. Fantine finds a job in Madeleine’s factory. After some time, a fellow worker discovers her sending money to Cosette and Fantine gets fired. Fantine tries other means of raising money to support her illegitimate daughter. She sells her hair and teeth and later turns into prostitution were she gets arrested by Inspector Javert for attacking an abusive customer. Madeleine intervenes in the case and manages to keep Fantine out of jail. However, Fantine’s health deteriorates, and death becomes imminent. Madeline promises to take care of her daughter.
Madeleine, however, gets troubled after learning that a man arrested by Javert as Valjean is about to get condemned for crimes he had committed. Madeleine decides to confess that he is the real Valjean at a court. Madeleine returns to check on Fantine at the hospital where he gets arrested by Javert. A few days later, Valjean escapes by plunging into the sea and establishing the belief that he had drowned. He then heads to Montfermeil, the location of the Thenardiers inn where he traces Cosette, who had gone to fetch some water from the well. Valjean pays all Fantine’s debts and flees with Cosette to Paris. In Paris, Valjean lives in a dilapidated tenement, the Gorbeau house where Javert manages to trace him, but he flees.
The film then turns to Jean Maximilien Lamarque, a government official who is sympathetic to the poor. He is nearing death thus; a revolutionary group of students plans a rebellion against the French monarchy. Marius Pontmercy, who lives near Thenardiers, is among the revolutionary group. Marius also falls in love with Cosette. In the rebellion, Marius’s friends get killed, but Valjean saves Marius by pulling his unconscious body in the sewer. When Marius recovers, he gets confronted by Cosette and Valjean leaves for them to be safe and happy. Marius and Cosette marry, but Valjean is not there. The Thenardiers interrupt the wedding but get ejected. Marius realizes that it was Valjean who saved him, thus hurries to find him. They, however, find him on his deathbed.
The expectations of the musical film are to tell a remarkable story. The Les Miserables does not disappoint as it combines different stories to narrate some of the stories in our daily life. Various themes and characters combine in the best way in this narration.
Jean Valjean is an outstanding character whom several themes get observed from his character in the Les Miserables musical film. First, religion gets shown by Valjean were the bishop gives him shelter despite him being an ex-convict. The bishop also protects him when he steals his silverware. Another theme that comes out is justice and injustice. The events which Valjean goes through makes him think that the poor people have no rights as only the wealthy have legal rights. Another theme in the file is change and transformation. Valjean changes from an ex-convict to a mayor and an owner of a factory which he uses to bring prosperity to the town. Valjean also cares and loves for Cosette as well as rescues Marius. Another theme is suffering and poverty. Valjean overcomes poverty through hard work and being courageous. Despite the difficult time, Valjean also tries to be honorable and generous.
The political instability in the nation in which students resolved to fight to the death is distracting. The scene diverts the main story of Valjean as he does not get involved in the rebellion. The film casting got done well to tell the complete story of Valjean.
Hugo, V. Les Miserables Volume One. Wordsworth Editions, (1994).
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