“To love another person is to see the face of God.” -Jean Valjean

Les Miserables tackles the history of France and how the French Revolution took place. The novel is well-known for its remarkable story written by Victor Hugo and was first published in 1862. The 2012 movie adaptation was directed by Tom Hooper. Is repenting ever too late? How to start a new life?This review will focus the story of prisoner 24601, Jean Valjean.

Happened in France during the early 19th century, Jean Valjean was finally released after spending nineteen years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread. He eventually became a mayor of a town but is always alert to the risk of being captured again by inspector Javert, who is ruthless in hunting down law-breakers. Before Fantine died, Valjean promises to take care of little Cosette. Eventually, Cosette meets Marius, a student of the rebellion and it leads them to loving each other which triggered Valjean. He later accepted that he needs to let go of Cosette.

Valjean’s transformation from a hate-filled and hardened criminal into a well-respected philanthropist calls out hope. Once Valjean opens up his heart, he becomes a testament to the redemptive power of love and compassion. In taking care of Cosette, Valjean learns how to love another person and how to pass that love onto others. While Valjean’s efforts on behalf of others inevitably cause him problems, they also give him a sense of happiness and fulfillment that he has never felt before. Valjean’s love for others-in particular, for Cosette-is what keeps him going in desperate times. This ability to change makes him a universal symbol of hope- if he can learn love and charity after suffering so much injustice, anyone can.

After watching the movie, Les Miserables, I was definitely left in awe. There is more to it than just a story about the French Revolution. The movie tackles broad topics about faith, patriotism, love, compassion and how people were treated. It was definitely worth the time. The film justified the story well. The actors portrayed their characters remarkably. The compositions were exceptional as well as how the actors performed them. Anne Hathaway was phenomenal although she was only shown for a few scenes. Hugh Jackman also stands out as usual, the tension he brings helps so much to the story. It is no doubt that Les Miserables is Oscar-winning.

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