Les Misérables Reveals Themes of Love and Adoption


Les Misérables made its theater debut on Christmas Day 2012 and brought in nearly $27 million through its opening weekend. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway are just a few of Hollywood’s A-List actors that star in this book turned musical. Before it was released for public viewing, the film had already been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards. Though the plot takes place during the French Revolution, the themes behind the story are ones that can be found relevant to people today – love, compassion, and plight of the orphan.

Within the first few minutes of the story, we see Valjean (Hugh Jackman) transform from an angry thief to a loving and honest man because of forgiveness and compassion he was shown. Valjean was arrested and imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. When he was finally released, he had no place to go, no job, and no money. He fell asleep in front of a church, and was welcomed inside by the bishop where he was fed a meal that night, and given a bed to sleep in. Awake in the middle of the night, he stole silverware from the church and proceeded to run away. When caught by police, Valjean proclaims the bishop had given them to him as a gift. The bishop tells the police Valjean had told the truth, and he is set free. Though he was a liar and a thief, the bishop displayed love and compassion to Valjean. This compassion became contagious as Valjean then treated others with the same forgiveness and love.

We see this compassion when Valjean adopts Cosette as his daughter. Cosette’s mother Fantine (Anne Hathaway) was fired from her job. Desperate to support her daughter turns to measures of selling her hair and teeth, and prostitution. Before Fantine dies from sickness Valjean vows to care for her daughter and adopts the young girl.

Though many other themes are revealed in this musical, it was those of compassion and adoption that plucked on my heartstrings the most. The idea that a simple gesture and kindness can turn a thief into honest man, made me take a step back and look at my own life, and how my actions directly affect those around me.

I highly recommend this movie to everyone, including adoptive parents and adopted children. It is sure to tug at your heartstrings as well. David French explains how his emotions as an adoptive parents were captured and displayed in the movie. He says, “What is it like to meet a new child and love her instantly and so completely? Watch the movie, and you’ll get a glimpse of the indescribable joy…” Click here to read his full blog.

Hugh Jackman and his wife are adoptive parents and advocates themselves, and are seen in this video taking part of Adoption Awareness Week. Hugh states in this interview that adoption was the greatest gift he ever had!



Photo Credit: Eva Rinaldi

For more information about international adoption, click here.

Jordan Kelly is a graduate of the Kelley School of Business where she majored in Marketing. As an assistant at MLJ Adoptions, Jordan does everything from event planning and managing social media, to writing blogs and designing advertisements.