As I watched the movie for a second time tonight, I realized that probably the biggest reason I love the story so much is because I can relate to each of the main characters so easily. I see their plight and I am moved. (It helps that the accompanying musical arrangements are so moving.) Music goes a long way to make the story more meaningful, at least to me.
Valjean: I think for the most part I am a good, caring person but at the same time I am not perfect; there are things I have done that I would wish to escape from. You run from the past, creating new opportunities. You struggle to make the right decisions as life comes at you.
Fantine: I have hit some hard times. You do what you can to scrape by. You feel slighted and people have done me wrong in my mind. Maybe it was "just business" or a by-product of an uncontrollable bad situation but it still messed up life. You pay your debts as best you can and hope that is enough. Sometimes people come to bail you out.
Javert: Do we not all feel a sense of duty? Haven't we all been so blinded by that "duty" or by taking that hardline approach that we aren't able to see what is fair and reasonable past what is "right?" His unceasing discipline to law and justice are admirable and sometimes in life that is all we want for people. I hope they get what is coming to them.
Cosette: Dreamy, aloof, blindly optimistic even though you know you are being kept in the dark. Suddenly you see the light and your focus becomes clear. There is meaning.
Marius: Oh my have there been times where I was struck to the bone in a moment of breathless delight! I have felt that longing, the angst that comes from loving someone and only want the best for them and to be with them.
Eponine: It always seems like On My Own is a theme. Unrequited love. Never getting back what you put out. Never the bride, just the dude facilitator for others to find their happiness. That hurt of not being loved the way you wish you could be loved.
I have spent a little time as each one of them during my life. I have felt their pains and struggles. I have walked in their shoes...or bare feet as it were in some cases. I love the musical so much. The story is magical, emotional, meaningful.
Thanks French Revolution and Victor Hugo!