The Thenardiers are moral black holes who stop at nothing to make a profit, but they're clearly intended to be scoundrels.
Much of the second half of the film focuses on the June Rebellion, a Paris uprising in 1832; there are many battle scenes that include gunfights, cannons, explosions, hand-to-hand combat with bayonets and fists, and plenty of dramatic, sad deaths (even children are involved).
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption-a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.
Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole.
When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.
In December 2012, the world's longest-running musical brings its power to the big screen in Tom Hooper's sweeping and spectacular interpretation of Victor Hugo's epic tale.
The film deals with abject poverty, prostitution, imprisonment, corruption, war, and death; all of which fans of the musical will be expecting -- but bringing the story to the screen means it has a much more realistic feel (despite the fact that the actors sing virtually all of the dialogue).
Characters suffer painful beatings, degrade themselves out of desperation, engage in gun and bayonet fights, claw their way through unspeakable filth, and more.
But Jean Valjean does seek to do the right thing and to care for others, even though it might cost him his freedom.
And Marius and his cohorts are motivated by passion and dedication to an ideal, even if things don't go the way they planned.
And it raises thoughtful questions about the nature of justice, power, and duty.