As a fan of the book and the musical, I had high expectations for this film. This is based on one of the greatest stories of all time, so I was at least expecting there to be a gripping plot. The first hour stays impressively loyal to the book, but then many parts of the story and many characters are not in the second hour, and the film drifts away from the original story.
The second part felt too rushed, and it skipped out many of the main elements. For one thing, the film seemed to villainise Javert too much, probably due to the fact that the storyline of a vital character, Thenardier, was absent.
Then there is the other important factor in this story: the love story. The originality of this story is completely cut out by the absence of the character Eponine, who would have added depth to the romance, which clearly lacked depth in this film adaptation.
As long a film as it is, it still seemed as if we barely got to know many of the important characters. It takes all of an hour to really get the story going, and it made me wonder what they were doing in the first hour. There was so much at the beginning which is not vital to the plot, so it is a shame that so many parts of this amazing story were lost during the second half. The film seemed to lead to an anti-climax, with not enough emphasis on what I felt were the important parts of the story. It was obvious that a film based on a book over which was over 1000 pages long would have to cut out some parts, but the creators did not choose well which parts to cut.