Vive La France: A Les Miserables mini-series

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Some Hillcrest students might remember that the big musical last year was an award winning production of Les Miserables. While the basic story is the same, PBS’ new mini-series will be a new experience for fans of the musical.

“Love, death, and the struggle for social justice in early 19th-century France feature in this beautifully faithful retelling of one of the world’s most beloved stories,” says pbs.com

The Masterpiece series, which premiered on April 14, is set to release an episode every Sunday. The previous episodes will be available to watch on pbs.com.

For those who have only seen the musical, some parts of the plot will not be familiar. The miniseries will be much more faithful to Victor Hugo’s original book. Viewers can look forward to much more backstory on their favorite characters. For example, in the first episode audience members can meet Marius’ father, Cosette’s father, and learn about how Thénardier fought at Waterloo. The story of Fantine’s lover and how he left makes the subsequent events all the more tragic.

In the second episode, audience members get to see Fantine’s and Valjean’s life progress. Val Jean has managed to establish himself as a generous and good man and has been appointed mayor of the town. It is then that Fantine enters and gets a job at his factory.

In this episode Cosette, Eponine and Monsieur and Madame Thenardier are also introduced.

Overall, the production is very good. As advertised, it stays true to the book, but without overloading the audience with details. It is interesting to watch the multiple stories intertwine and unfold side by side. The actors and actresses that portray the characters are really good at communicating the show’s strong emotions.

Dominic West will star as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo as Javert, and Lily Collins as Fantine. More information is available online.

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