Les Mis in pictures: The Beggars/Stars

Also known as the Look Down song, this scene can be very confusing. People in rags inundate the stage as well as a whirlwind of new characters. If this is your first time watching Les Mis, you might not immediately realize that the story has jumped in time by 10 years. You may feel lost. Wait! Who’s the guy handing out the pamphlets? What is the girl with the books doing among the beggars? Who’s the fellow with the blue coat? Why are there guys beating the beggars? Who is the girl with the grimy face? Who’s the kid dangling from the wooden scaffolding?

The last question’s easy. That’s Gavroche. He leads a posse of street urchins, and is kind of the neighborhood watch. He knows everything that’s happening in the slums of St. Michel and is notoriously portrayed with a Cockney accent. Why? He lives in Paris. Supposedly.

In the “Look Down” song, he introduces us to several characters. Because of his Cockney accent, he’s generally hard to understand. Which leaves you even more confused. But Will wasn’t difficult to comprehend. He clearly informed us about the “who’s who” in 1832 Parisian Slum Society.

He introduces us to the “old Thenardier.” The lyrics never mention that this is his father. But he is.

3a thenardier Eponine
Mr. and Mrs. Thenardier operate from the tough-love principle when it comes to their daughter Eponine.

Thenardier has his own gang who beg and rob and do anything else that violates the common decency.

001 thenardier and his gang
Thenardier and his gang: Josh, Quinton, Joshua, Michael, and William.
7 marius, Eponine, Valjean in background
Eponine, Gavroche’s sister, is infatuated with Marius, a student (in the blue coat.)
5 Marius enjolras and troupe
The guy with the tricolor sash is Enjolras. He’s the macho leader of the Friends of the ABC (literally translated as “friends of the suppressed.”) Women love him, but he only loves France. And Revolution.
6 beggars and marius
Fellow with the suede vest is Grantaire. (Hint: pretty much anyone who wears a vest is part of the student body.) He’s the thinker and drinker of the group and only supports the Revolution only because Enjolras wants a Revolution.
6a Marius
Back to Marius. He’s usually typified as a one-sided pretty boy with the emotional depth of frozen yogurt. Thom portrays Marius as a compassionate intellectual, a reader, who falls in love with Cosette because she loves books, too. This makes a lot of nerdy bookish girls fall in love with Marius instantly.
7 marius, Eponine, Valjean in background
Like Eponine. She pretends to be a great bibliophile as well.
8 marius, Eponine, Valjean in background
She cannot read, however. But she’s street smart. This doesn’t impress Marius much.
9 marius, eponine, Valjean, Cosette in background
Sorry, Eponine. Now move aside, because…smart girl alert: Cosette’s looming in the back.
0001
While Michael in the back demonstrates knockdown power with the baton, Marius picks up the books Cosette dropped when he bumped into her.
00001
He’s so sorry and she’s all giggles. Michael (with man bun hiding behind her cape) senses trouble.
11 Marius and Cosette meet
The adorable couple bonding over books. Really. They’re so cute.
12 valjean being attacked by Thenardier
No bonding for her poor adoptive father (in the brown tail coat.) Thenardier harasses him for money…
13 valjean being attacked by tehnarier
….then suddenly recognizes Valjean and not even by his superhuman strength…
14 Valjean attacked again
…but because he’s a con just like him (and has a number on his chest.)

Before Thenardier and his gang can do some real baton damage to Cosette’s dad, Eponine warns everyone that Javert’s about to enter. All the beggars run off, and Valjean whisks Cosette away stealthily.

Javert isn’t hard to recognize. He’s still a police officer, but now sports a fancy cape. (Looks like he’s moving up in the Justice Department!) He voices his disgust about bums on the street. (That includes you, Thenardier!)

15 javert enters
“What’s going on here?”
16 javert questions the gang
“I immediately know you’re guilty. I don’t like your face.”
17 javert wonders
Hey, where did the guy with the brown tail coat go? The one you tormented?
18 javfert's angry
Oh, now Javert’s peeved. Because he might have let Valjean escape. Again.

And that makes us wonder: are there REALLY no other criminals for Javert to obsess over?

8
No.

 

Javerts scares everyone off the street. Alone in the dark night, he details his longing for order and justice in Stars.

Javert 4javert stars 21 Fred's pic

 

 

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