The writer cautions those watching this film:
The most important thing for a filmgoer to understand when viewing "Les Miz" is to realize that Jean Valjean and only Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is the hero of this story. Do not get fooled by the heroic depiction of the mindlessly earnest students screaming for revolution and building barricades in the streets as a futile attempt to rally the people of France to their side. Watch Valjean's reaction to them as they choose to face certain annihilation as a symbolic gesture. Watch how he values life over their depraved narcissism and ends up making a real difference, not a symbolic one.