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Danger of losing his business, Anthony Roca, an ordinary man, develops a scam that will become the heist of the century. Overtaken by the crime, he will have to deal with betrayal, murder and settling.
Ursus (Gérard Depardieu) is a traveling herbalist who opens his door to two destitute kids. Déa (Christa Theret) is a blind girl who was found in the arms of her dead frozen mother. Gwynplaine (Marc-André Grondin) is a boy abandoned by doctor Hardquanone who cut up his face to resemble the Joker. As they grow up, Ursus realize that people are more fascinated with Gwynplaine's face than with his herbal knowledge. Eventually they become big stars that catch the attention of the duchess Josiane (Emmanuelle Seigner). Soon Gwynplaine's origin becomes even more shocking.
It's an interesting story of the french underclass very much similar to Victor Hugo's more famous work 'Les Misérables'. Then it takes a sharp turn. It causes the movie to stumble as it tries to get its feet back under it. There are too many injustice done to the three. The change in the characters are too abrupt. It becomes either piling on, or that the three are too stupid. This is a love story with too much interference. And the Romeo and Juliet ending really sinks it with its heavy handed melodrama.
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