Phantom!!!

Monday, December 13, 2004

I finally saw the film version of The Phantom of the Opera. It came out last week here in the UK and I even got to see it for free! (Special promotion).

How was it??? Well, even though it pains me to say it, I was a little underwhelmed. Ok, I mean it's actually a well made movie, good production values and good performances, it just was not as good as I had hoped. Where my expectation too high? Probably. But still, they were pretty high for the movie version of "Chicago", and that was more satisfying than this one, by far.

Ok, sure, this show was hard to reconceive like "Chicago", they do add some scenes in which they give you some background info on the Phantom, Christine and Mme. Giry. Still, the movie made the flaws of show's slightly mediocre book much more evident.

My bf asked me how would I improve the story? (Me being a wannabe dramatist and all). Well, first of all I would give the Phantom a little more dialog or something. I mean he never really gets to speak a lot. It's true that you understand him a lot more from the anguish and sadness in the actor's singing voice than anything he actually says. At the end of the movie you never really understand most of the characters that well and it's a little emotionally distant.

**Ok, here are the movie's weak points:
-The chandelier going up and "Think of me" are all a bit too cartoony for my taste, the effects used just don't make it look very real. And it's quite a realist show. And what the hell is up with Christine not moving a muscle during "Think of me"??? Is she a statue or something?
-For the "Masquerade" number, they all wear neat costumes, but they're basically black and white. Come on! This was the moment for a tsunami of color! And a lot of the people seem to be wearing the same mask. Geez. The ending is pretty good tho, see "strong points" below...
-The choreography for "Point of no return". What was with those male dancers? A little too feminine, even for ME, haha. It just didn't go well with the moment.
-The end of the show just isn't very emotionally involving. Sorry. If they could only produce the emotion that you get when hearing the Phantom's "All I ask of you" reprise, wow, what a show this could be.

**Ok, here are the movie's strong points:
-The Phantom (Gerard Butler) is HOT! Oh my God! He's SOOOOO handsome! I mean finally you understand how Christine would follow a complete stranger down a dark hallway. The whole "Phantom of the opera" sequence is quite exquisite... because the guy is so damn HOT! hahaha.
-Emmy Rossum as Christine. She sings very well and is a good actress. She doesn't revolutionize the part, but is very touching and makes a beautiful opera diva.
-The end of Masquerade. Pretty cool. The Phantom owns the screen when he appears. A highlight of the film.
-Two words... MINNIE DRIVER! Even though she sounded terribly miscast, this girls is WONDERFUL as Carlotta, the bitchy primma donna. She is SOOOO funny, it's a shame she's only on screen for like 15 min. Since her voice is dubbed (Good move!) she rises to the occasion perfectly. Kudos!
-When the chandelier crashes down. It was moved toward the end of the movie, which makes a lot of sense since it makes everything much more spectacular. It looks COOL! Hahaha.
-The costumes for "Ill Mutto" and "Think of me" were absolutely beautiful. Wow. Now THAT's imagination.
-The music is enthralling. Every single damn song. A truly beautiful score. Even the new song is ok (sung by Minnie Driver during the end credits). Not as good as the old stuff, but still ok.

As you can see, I have a lot more positives than negatives. So go see the flick, even if you haven't seen the show. It's a beautiful score and one hell of a production. And if your opinion differs from mine, well, any feedback is welcome, haha.

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