Webber's musical shines in big-screen adaptation

Category: Phantom of the Opera Reviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: January 21, 2005 | Publication: Zap2It.com | Author: Mike Szymanski
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Lyrical, magical and romantic, Joel Schumacher's true artistry is shown in bringing the Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway spectacle to the big screen with "The Phantom of the Opera." Even if you don't like musicals, especially if you don't like musicals, you'll appreciate how dramatic, exciting and gripping this film is.

Emmy Rossum, a wide-eyed teen with a heart full of talent, stars in the film as Christine, the girl who has a mysterious teacher whom she never sees. (She was the murdered daughter of Sean Penn's character in "Mystic River.") Gerard Butler plays the role made famous by Michael Crawford, and he does with much more melancholia and pathos. Patrick Wilson, first shown as the aged man in the wheelchair, transforms into his younger handsome self, as does the ramshackle theater that transforms into the glory days when it was the hub of grand theater.

The troupe is doing the opera "Hannibal" and on stage is a temperamental diva Carlotta, played with evil delight by Minnie Driver.

Miranda Richardson stars as the ballet mistress and the mother figure to Christine. She's the person who knows the secret of the ghost who haunts the theater and sabotages Carlotta. Jennifer Ellison is Christine's friend, Meg.

The musical numbers are memorable and everyone sang their own songs, except Driver.

One of the most compelling movies of the year, and certainly one of the best musicals in recent history, this is geared for those who love musicals, and enjoyable for those who never would go to the play in the first place.