The Phantom of the Opera (2004).

Film based on the musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber. Stars Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum.

Before I proceed with this review, I just want to say that I don’t have any background in musical theatre and I haven’t seen the stage version of this, although I did read the original Gaston Leroux book. My opinions therefore are entirely subjective.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this musical. The costumes were lovely, and the music itself was beautiful. Gerard Butler was good in his central role as the Phantom. Emily Rossum was certainly a rare jewel as Christine, but Patrick Wilson’s Raoul could have been better.

The change from black and white to colour as the movie’s timeline flitted back and forth was well put across, and the older Raoul’s heartbreak as he still mourned the loss of his beloved Christine was palpable. The emotion was put across wordlessly. The non-linear time frame seemed to almost put across the strong feeling of being able to care deeply about characters because you could feel their heartbreak too. But then, you can’t please everyone when it is to do with something involving audiences and the associated audience expectation.

Of course, if you read the book then it was never really supposed to be a romance. It just makes it more palpable for film audiences. Of course, by making the film/musical a romance it involves a great deal of deeper meaning including Christine’s loss of innocence and her sexual awakening through the Phantom but that’s not really an area I want to expansively include in this review. Again, its up to interpretation.

All in all, of course this film is flawed but it’s still got enough strength to make it through as a good musical film. There are plenty of good songs in the film – my favourite was All I Ask Of You.

MY RATING: *** / *****

 

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