The Phantom of the Opera

Category: Phantom of the Opera Reviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: December 23, 2004 | Publication: di-ve.com | Author: Ann Demarco
Publication/Article Link:

Star Rating: * * * *

This film version of the super successful, long running stage musical 'The Phantom of the Opera' is virtually a recreation of the stage show, complete with swirling mists, candles rising from the earth, and sets which are exactly the same as the London show. Which is just what I wanted to see. I wanted to be able to pretend I was in a theatre in London (or wherever) watching a live performance of this famous musical. There are a few changes in the film version, but I didn't feel that these worked although I could understand the reason for them.

The Phantom is set in the Paris Opera House, Christine is a chorus girl who is being trained in singing by a mysterious teacher. It turns out that this teacher, who she believes is an angel of music sent to her by her dead father, is actually the opera ghost, a man who lives in the underground tunnels of the opera house and who fell in love with the beautiful singer. He hides from the world because he is disfigured, and although Christine is fascinated by him, she also fears him, and when her childhood sweetheart comes back into her life, she turns to him for love, leaving the phantom bitter and angry.

This is a movie that looks absolutely beautiful. It's also generally sung very well, especially by Emma Rossum, who has the perfect voice for Christine, and also Patrick Wilson, his voice is equally perfect for Raoul. As for Gerard Butler, I wasn't that impressed by his singing voice, although as the movie went on I got used to it a bit more. I do believe there's a better Phantom out there, but I must say Butler looked stunning. In fact he looked much too good in the first half, I kept wondering why on earth he would want to hide himself when he's so beautiful! When the mask came off, though, it worked.

In terms of performance, all the smaller parts were very good, Minnie Driver was a scream as the opera diva Carlotta, although I was disappointed to see that she wasn't actually doing the singing.

I believe that I'll enjoy this movie much more on second viewing, because since I know the musical so well, every note that was different was a shock. As for those who don't know it that well, remember, it's a musical, virtually the whole thing is sung, but it's all so beautiful that I believe most people will enjoy it.

Director: Joel Schumacher

Cast: Gerard Butler - The Phantom
Emma Rossum - Christine Daae
Patrick Wilson - Raoul
Minnie Driver - Carlotta
Miranda Richardson - Madame Giry
Ciarin Hinds - Firmin
Simon Callow - Andre
Jennifer Ellison - Meg Giry

Running time: 142 minutes