This is the first part of a guide aimed at clearing up plot/story/character confusion for people who’ve only seen the 2012 movie adaptation of Les Mis (which is often the easiest version to catch, after all!). I’m answering questions people have asked me directly, or mentioned having after seeing the film. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, let me know and I’ll add the answers later!
Some of the questions I’ve heard come from changes between the stage musical and the movie, some from changes between the book and the musical, and some are just matters of (often pretty obscure!) history. I’ve drawn from non-movie sources to answer questions when relevant or necessary, but this is NOT a point-by-point comparison of the stage musical and the movie, or the book and the musical. This isn’t even an analysis of symbolism or characters.
This is just trying to fill in details for the movie as its own story ! Maybe think of it like DVD commentary? You might not need it, but hey, maybe it will add some points of interest! And if there’s any question you’d like to see answered here, let me know?
Below the cut, notes for Act One! It covers everything from Valjean’s release from prison right up to the 1832 title card after Russell Crowe’s Stars.