Whiz Through Les Mis


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A brief summary of the Boublil and Shonberg adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, illustrated using images from the new Tom Hooper film.

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Whiz Through Les Mis

  1. 1. Les MisérablesThe Dream Lives This ChristmasImages from Les Misérables courtesyof Universial Pictures, Inc.Les Misérables: Highlights from theMotion Picture Soundtrack availablewherever books are sold
  2. 2. A Whiz Through Mis• World‟s longest-running musical – Premiered in Paris, 1980 – Opened in London on 8 October, 1985• Based on 1862 novel by Victor Hugo• Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg – Famous French record producer• Lyrics by Alain Boublil – French poet laureate and librettist• Translated to English and brought to London by Sir Cameron Mackintosh – “The Wizard of the London Stage”• 13,000 performances in London alone• Translated to 21 languages• Played in 43 countries – including China• Won 96 major theater awards (including multiple Tony and Olivier awards)• Command performance for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and His Eminence the President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac, in 2004 at Windsor Castle
  3. 3. 49 musical numbers• From the World Famous: – “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Do you Hear the People Sing,” “One Day More,” “On My Own,” and many more• To the unknown: – “Beggars at the Feast,” “Red, Black,” “The Robbery,” “Little People,” and more
  4. 4. “Look down, look down, don‟t look „em in the eye!” • Story begins in 1815 – Napoléon has just been defeated at Waterloo • Bagnue of Toulon – French Military Prison • Jean Valjean is paroled after 19 years – Stole a loaf of bread toHugh Jackman (Center) as Valjean feed starving nieces and nephews
  5. 5. “Do not forget me, 24601!” • Prison guard at Toulon • Paroles Valjean – Swears that he will be watching • Becomes Inspector in the national police • Tirelessly hunts Valjean after he breaks paroleRussell Crowe as Javert
  6. 6. “Freedom is mine…”• Former convict• Imprisoned from 1796 to 1815 – For breaking a window and stealing a single loaf of bread • 5 years for theft, 14 for numerous escape attempts• Disenchanted and hateful when released Hugh Jackman as Valjean
  7. 7. “Come in, sir, for you are weary…”• Valjean is welcomed into the home of Monsigneur Myriel, Bishop of Digne• Bishop implores Valjean to rest and eat• During the night, Valjean steals the Bishop‟s silver and runs – Gets recaptured by police • Lies, tells police the Bishop gave him the silver• Police return Valjean to the Bishop, who says yes, he Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop did give Valjean the silver
  8. 8. “At the end of the day, she‟ll be nothing but trouble!” • Eight years have passed (1823) • Valjean is now mayor of a town on the English Channel – Under an assumed name – “Monsieur Madeline” • He owns a wealthy factory
  9. 9. “I dreamed a dream in time gone by…”• Fantine returned to M-sur-M after her lover, Theodule, abandoned her when she was pregnant• Daughter, Cosette, is living with an innkeeper in Montfermeil• Returned home to work in Valjean‟s factory – Is fired when it comes to light she has an illegitimate child• Is forced to sell locket with Cosette‟s hair, her teeth, and her own hair, when she believes Cosette is ill• She is then forced to turn to prostitution Anne Hathaway as Fantine
  10. 10. “Make your excuse to the police!” • When Fantine, working as a prostitute, refuses a customer, and he taunts her, she attacks him • Furious, he drags her to the police – Javert • Just as she is about to be arrested, Valjean intervenes, recognizing that Fantine is ill • Furious at being preventedAnne Hathaway as Fantine, and Hugh from making the arrest, Javert Jackman as Valjean reports to Paris that he suspects the mayor may be a former convict
  11. 11. “And he‟s just been re-arrested, and he comes to court to-day!”• Javert insists Valjean must press charges against him for making a false report to Paris• Curious, Valjean asks why• Javert tells him that he denounced the mayor to Paris as a convict, and was told he was crazy, as the convict, Jean Valjean, had just been re- arrested• Torn, the real Valjean, weighs whether or not he should reveal himself
  12. 12. “Who am I? I‟m Jean Valjean!” • Valjean reveals himself to the court, stunning them all to silence • He flees Paris back to Fantine‟s bedside, knowing the order for his arrest will be close behind • Fantine dies in his arms as he promises to protect her daughter
  13. 13. “Valjean, at last, we see each other plain. M‟sieur L‟Mayor, you wear a different chain!”• As Fantine lays dead in Valjean‟s arms, Javert enters to arrest him• The two fight• Valjean escapes
  14. 14. “There is a castle on a cloud…”• Cosette, Fantine‟s daughter, is being used as a servant by the innkeeper Thénardier and his wife• They frequently lied to Fantine for her to send them more money Isabelle Allen as Young Cosette – Use money to pamper their daughter Éponine
  15. 15. “Welcome, M‟sieur, sit yourself down, and meet the best innkeeper in town!” • Thénardier is a swindler and crook • Owner of “The Sergeant of Waterloo” inn – Montfermeil • Claims to have been soldier under Napoléon – Actually just a grave robber who followed the armySacha Baron Cohen as Monsieur Thénardier
  16. 16. “I used to dream that I would meet a prince… but God almighty, have you seen what‟s happened since!?”• Madame Thénardier dislikes her husband – Considers him bawdy, insulting, idiotic, drunken, slovenly, and uncouth• Yet that doesn‟t stop her from being just as conniving as he is• She is also a crook and a swindler – Steals without remorse Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thénardier
  17. 17. “One thing more, one small doubt…” • Valjean arrives in Montfermeil • Meets Cosette alone and scared in the woods – Walks her back to the Inn • Haggles with the Thénardiers for them to release Cosette to his care – Gives then 1,500 Francs for Cosette • Shortly after Valjean leaves, Javert arrives looking for Cosette, hoping to ambush Valjean when he comes for her
  18. 18. “Look down and see the beggars at your feet!”• Nine years have passed (1832)• Valjean and Cosette live in Paris – She addresses him as “father”• Thénardier‟s Inn has failed – They have relocated to Paris• Javert is a high-ranking official of the Paris Prefecture of Police• King Louis Phillippe tenuously holds power• The lower classes are fermented with a longing for revolution Aaron Tveit (left) as Enjolras, and Eddie• Student revolutionaries led by Redmayne (right) as Marius Enjolras and Marius Pontmercy, ferment the longing for violent uprising
  19. 19. “There, out in the darkness…. A fugitive running…” • Thénardier, now a street con, attacks Valjean with his gang • Javert comes to the rescue of Valjean – Valjean and Cosette run • Javert realizes too late that Valjean was there • Swears himself to capture Valjean
  20. 20. “Éponine… who was that girl?”• Marius, who is good friends with Éponine, saw Cosette while Thénardier attacked Valjean – He is horribly smitten Eddie Redmayne as Marius
  21. 21. “Red!” “I feel my soul on fire!” “Black!” “My world if she‟s not there!” • Marius meets with his friends, the student revolutionaries • They tease him for falling in love – Enjolras, the leader, chides them for wasting time • They begin frantically planning their revolt – To be launched from the funeral of General Lamarque
  22. 22. “Lamarque… the people‟s man!” • General Jean Maximilien Lamarque • 1770-1832 • French Army General • Napoléonic Baron • Member of the French Parliament – Fierce anti-Royalist – Supporter and champion of the poor andPortrait of General J.M. Lamarque downtrodden
  23. 23. “Do you hear the people sing?!”• News arrives of Lamarque‟s death• Enjolras reaffirms their plans to launch the revolution on the day of his funeral• Éponine arrives, telling Marius that she has found Cosette
  24. 24. “A heart full of love…”• Marius arrives at Cosette and Valjean‟s home, professing his love to her• The two meet for the first time – Éponine, who is in love with Marius, watches sadly Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Eddie Redmayne as Marius
  25. 25. “I‟m gonna scream, I‟m gonna warn them here!” • While Marius and Cosette chat, Thénardier and his gang arrive to rob the house and kill Valjean • Éponine, standing watch outside, spots them • Afraid for Marius, she tries to discourage them – She fails • When her father threatens her, she alerts Valjean and Cosette and Marius to their presence by Samantha Barks as Éponine screaming loudly
  26. 26. “One Day More… Another day, another destiny…”• Assuming the figures he saw running were Javert and his men, Valjean panics – He tells Cosette they leave for England in the morning• Filled with despair, Cosette and Marius ponder the possibility of a future without each other• Éponine mourns Marius never seeing that she loves him• Enjolras and his revolutionaries prepare for the revolt – happening tomorrow – Marius agrees to fight with them, intending to die rather than live without Cosette• Javert briefs his police and National Guard officers on his plan – He will infiltrate the revolutionaries and sabotage their efforts• The Thénardiers amuse themselves by pick-pocketing the revolutionaries, noting that “most of them are goners, so they won‟t miss much!”• END OF ACT 1
  27. 27. “Here upon these stones, we‟ll build our barricade!”• Enjolras and the Revolutionaries begin building their fortress• They are joined by the destitute of Paris• Enjolras dispatches Éponine with a letter to Cosette
  28. 28. “On my own, pretending he‟s beside me…” • After delivering Marius‟ note to Valjean (who accepted on Cosette‟s behalf) Éponine wanders the Samantha Barks as Éponine streets • She laments that Marius will never love her as she loves him
  29. 29. “Here we pledge ourselves to hold thisbarricade, in the heart of the city we claim as our own!”• Back at the barricade, Javert – who has posed as a revolutionary – returns from „spying‟ on the army troops that has surrounded them• He claims they will not attack• Javert is then exposed as a spy by Gavroche the street urchin• As he is hauled away and tied up, the French Army attacks• Éponine takes a bullet for Marius, and falls – mortally wounded• Marius drives off the army troops by threatening to blow up the barricade Aaron Tveit as Enjolras
  30. 30. “Don‟t you fret, M‟sieur Marius. I don‟t feel any pain…” • As the soldiers retreat, Marius rushes to the side of the dying Éponine • She admits her love for him, and asks him to stay until she diesÉponine (Samantha Barks) dies in the arms • Enjolras pledges that the of Marius (Eddie Redmayne) Barricade will hold out as a tribute to the dead – including Éponine
  31. 31. “I come here as a volunteer!”• Valjean arrives at the barricade in the uniform of a French soldier• He volunteers to help man the barricade• Before he can be questioned, he shoots a sharpshooter that had been about to kill Enjolras• In gratitude, they welcome him to take any reward he wishes Javert (Russell Crowe) and Valjean (Hugh Jackman)• He requests to deal with the spy Javert
  32. 32. “Take your revenge! How right you should kill with a knife!” • Javert goads Valjean to kill him (“You‟ve hungered for this all your life!”) • Valjean shows mercy, and unties Javert – He tells him to run • As Javert warns Valjean that releasing him means that he will return to arrest the ex- convict, Valjean gives him his home address to find him after the battle • Javert flees, and Valjean fires his pistol into the air
  33. 33. “Drink with me to days gone by…”• The revolutionaries pass the night remembering days gone by, and pondering their fate• Grantaire, the pessimistic alcoholic, warns “will the world remember you when you fall, could it be your death means nothing at all!?”• Marius continues working to build the barricade higher, lamenting “Do I care if I should die? Now she goes across the sea! Life without Cosette means nothing at Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, and George all!” Blagden (Grantaire) – Valjean, watching him, is moved by his devotion
  34. 34. “God on High… hear my prayer!” • Valjean watches as Marius sleeps, and gives a passionate prayer to God: • „Let Marius Live, and let Valjean die if someone must die‟
  35. 35. “Let us die facing our foes, make them bleed while we can, make them pay through the nose, make them pay for every man!”• As dawn breaks, the army launches a furious assault – aided by heavy artillery• The barricade crashes down under the barrage, and the revolutionaries flee into the buildings as they are systematically slaughtered• Valjean and Marius escape through the Aaron Tveit as Enjolras sewers, though Marius is gravely injured
  36. 36. “Here‟s a hint of gold, stuck into a tooth!Pardon me, M‟sieur, you won‟t be needing it no more!”• While escaping through the sewers, Valjean – carrying the unconscious Marius on his back – comes across Thénardier looting the corpses of the dead soldiers and revolutionaries• They escape him, and make for the exit from the sewers
  37. 37. “Who is this man, what sort of devil is he to have me caught in a trap, and CHOOSE to let me go free!?”• As Marius and Valjean emerge from the sewers, they bump into Javert• Javert attempts to arrest Valjean on the spot – as he warned he would• Valjean dissuades him, begging for mercy until he can get Marius to the boy‟s home• Javert assents, and lets them leave• Lost in a torrent of emotion and conflict, Javert walks the streets of Paris• At a loss for how to proceed, he commits suicide by jumping into the Seine River
  38. 38. “They were schoolboys, never held a gun…” • The families of the fallen search among the bodies for their relatives, lamenting the loss of the “New world” that their brothers, sons, andIn an earlier scene, Russell Crowe (Javert) among the bodies after the fall of the fathers died for barricade
  39. 39. “There‟s a grief that can‟t be spoken. There‟s a pain goes on and on…”• Recovering from his injuries, Marius visits the café where the students met to plan revolution• He is haunted by the tortured knowledge Hugh Jackman (Valjean), Eddie Redmayne (Marius), and Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) that he alone survived
  40. 40. “Don‟t think about it, Marius, will all the years ahead of us, I will never go away, and we will be together every day.” • Cosette and Valjean find Marius, and begin comforting and reassuring him, saying his recuperation is going well • Marius is obsessed with finding out the identity of his mysterious savior from the barricadeEddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried • The two – Marius and Cosette – are due to be wed in a few days
  41. 41. “Once there was a man whose name was Jean Valjean…”• On the day of the wedding, Valjean tells Marius who he really is• He leaves, so that if he is caught, it will not disgrace Cosette Eddie Redmayne as Marius
  42. 42. “Beggars at the feast, master of the dance, life is easy pickings if you take your chance!” • Marius and Cosette are wed • The reception is crashed by the Thénardiers • They attempt to blackmail Marius with knowledge of Valjean’s past • In doing so, they inadvertently reveal to Marius that Valjean saved him • They also reveal where Valjean is, and Marius and Cosette rush to himAmanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne
  43. 43. “I Dreamed a Dream Cosette stood by, it made her weep to know I die!”• Valjean lays dying in a convent hospital• Marius and Cosette arrive in time to behold his last moments• In his last glimpses of life, Valjean sees Fantine and Éponine have come to take him to God
  44. 44. “They will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord. They will walk behind the plowshare, they will put away the sword. The chain shall be broken, and all men will have their reward! “Will you join in our crusade, who will be strong and stand with me? Somewhere beyond the barricade, is there a world you long to see?Do you hear the people sing, say do you hear the distant drums? It is the future that we bring when Tomorrow comes.”
  45. 45. The End