In nineteenth century France, convict Jean Valjean (Liam Neeson) is paroled after nineteen years' hard labour in prison. He assumes a new identity, becoming a prosperous factory owner, but he is pursued by Javert (Geoffrey Rush), formerly a guard at Valjean's prison, who is obsessed with exposing him. Valjean meanwhile attempts to reunite Fantine (Uma Thurman), a former factory employee who is now dying, and her daughter, Cosette. When Javert tricks him into revealing his true identity, Valjean is forced to flee with Cosette to Paris. Here he becomes embroiled in the revolution, and the vengeful Valjean is still hot on his trail.