Having seen the stage play twice and enjoying the music over the years, I was not sure the movie would grab me with the same intensity as the play. It took some getting used to the way they sang the songs with more acting and less stage sounding, and my favorite songs were done with such pathos that I was moved.
For some reason the story itself stood out more boldly, and the main theme of Javeres obession with justice and law, and John Valjeans willingness to forgive, make amends and love others unconditionally.
The tragedy of Fontine's death made the final scene so poignant, that she who found rest in death would welcome John Valjean into heaven. You got the sense that even those who fought and died for freedom without seeing anything change would become the very martyrs for societal change.
Very powerful acting, singing, and sets. Long but worth it. Would I watch it often, probably not, but still a masterpiece.