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Category: Phantom of the Opera Reviews
Article Date: January 6, 2005 | Publication: LIFEBEATS | Author: Don and Joyce

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I love the magnificent music of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stunning Broadway musical, “The Phantom of the Opera.”

I came to director Joel Schumacher’s movie version with high expectations, and I was not disappointed.

Joyce liked it very much, but was not quite as overwhelmed, having some trouble with following the lip-syncing in some scenes (She never watches music videos).

Emmy Rossum is a perfect Christine, with her beauty, sad eyes and terrific voice.

Gerald Butler, while a bit too “pretty” until his mask is removed, makes for a powerful Phantom.

Together, there is an uncanny sensuality between them that is conflicted by the removal of his mask and the appearance of Count Raoul (Patrick Wilson), the very handsome figure from Christine’s past.

You know the story. Christine is under the influence of the Phantom, who lives in the bowels of the Paris Opera Populaire. When the annoying diva (Minnie Driver) loses her voice, thanks to some help from the Phantom, Christine steps into the role and becomes an instant hit. Sort of like “42nd Street,” but with a bigger price tag.

The price Christine has to pay is falling under the spell of the obsessive phantom, and eventually having to make an impossible choice.

While the story is all too familiar and seen in both the original movie version and the award-winning Broadway musical (We’ve seen it twice at PPAC), it is the production that bedazzles us on the big screen.

The story opens up, allowing us to feel the vastness of the opera house, from the backstage to the roof, and especially to the catacombs and passageways below.

The action also takes us to an eerie cemetery that plays heavily in the conclusion.

The famous chandelier scene that is very effective on stage is overwhelming in the movie.

Costumes, wigs, great sound and every attention to detail makes you want to return and see the movie again.

If you have never seen the stage version, by all means see the movie. If you have, you should enjoy the opening up of the scenes.

“Masquerade,” that joyous musical number that was so magically done on stage, is even more magical in the movie.

Thanks must go to the folks responsible for the movie version of “Chicago” for giving Hollywood the courage to tackle the Broadway musical in all its splendor.

I could listen to this magically “Music of the Night” over and over again.

Rated PG-13, with a few tense scenes that may frighten those younger that the teen years.


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