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PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Category: Phantom of the Opera Reviews
Article Date: January 18, 2005 | Publication: ZWire | Author: critic
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In The Phantom of the Opera, director Joel Schumacher and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber bring a magnificent Broadway musical to the masses. In the film, Christine is a young ingenue at a Paris opera house and the unwitting protege of a mysterious character called the Phantom of the Opera, a disfigured recluse who lives in the dungeons of the theater. While the Phantom is training Christine to usurp the stage from the diva Carlotta (Minnie Driver), he falls in love with her. To his dismay, Christine is being courted by Raoul, a handsome aristocrat. Love and loyalty become the aria of the characters as their relationships and the theater hang in the balance.

Of course, the highlight of The Phantom of the Opera is the music. Andrew Lloyd Webber's dark and enchanting score is nothing short of spine-tingling. Webber insisted that the actors do all their own singing, and they did a respectable job of bringing the timeless songs such as "All I Ask Of You" and "Music of the Night" to life.

As the Phantom, Butler brings a mysterious charm to the character. Adding sex appeal and intensity, his turn as the Phantom makes Christine's inexplicable passion for the distorted man believable. Then again, the character of the Phantom himself and his thirst for love and revenge make him worthy of both sympathy and intrigue. As he appeals to the dark side in Christine, he appeals to the dark side of everyone who watches his plight unfold.

Rossum was wonderful as Christine. A classic beauty, Rossum delivers a performance full of wide-eyed innocence on the brink of corruption - perfect for the role. As Raoul, Wilson seems to hold back his true talent. Driver over-acts the role of Carlotta, but nevertheless she is ruthlessly wicked as any blue-blooded diva should be.

Visually, The Phantom of the Opera is a feast for the eyes. The special effects are stunning, and the costuming is beautiful. The sets are on the corny side of the spectrum at times, but the interior of the opera house and the Phantom's lair are spectacular.
The Phantom of the Opera is an enjoyable artistic achievement. It may not be the perfect interpretation of the classic horror tale, but overall, it is a hauntingly gorgeous film that makes beautiful music.

 


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