Phantom of the Opera


I was in high school when Phantom of the Opera hit broadway, and like most people interested in musicals.. I was obsessed. This take on the classic story so well written that I could picture every scene, without ever seeing it in person. My first real viewing of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical was when the movie came out in 2004. And, as obsessed as I was with it.. the music, the soundtracks, the score, I even learned to play the songs on the piano (much to the dismay of my chorus teacher, Mr Maynard), I wanted to love this movie.. But it fell shy of my expectations.

Fell shy, mostly because of the casting choices. Where the stage play that I fell in love with, relied on Singing talent as well as stage acting.. the move relied on looks.. and acting.. rather than musical ability.. and I’m sorry girls, as hot as Gerard Butler may be.. he is no Michael Crawford. A baritone taking the role that a Tenor made famous? For me, it just didn’t work. Emmy Rossum may be a decent actress, but I could not help but compare her performance to Sarah Brightman.. and Emmy’s drawls are no match for Sarah’s singing performance.

Of course, this may not be fair.. Comparing two newer, younger actors to the people who made the roles famous, decades before.. obviously, the role of Christine – a 16 year old girl – could not be believably played by 44 year old (at the time) Brightman. (who, btw did a great job in Repo! The Genetic Opera).. and of course, Webber’s relationship with Brightman wasn’t the greatest after their split.

The only real issues I had with this movie, where the singing of the main characters, except for Patrick Wilson, who played Raul, Christine’s love interest.. who actually sounded exactly like his counterpart in the 80’s musical. Weird. Also, they changed some of the lyrics and story.. I really dont know why.

The Chandelier rising in the beginning of the film sent chills down by spine as the overture began.. and probably always will. The transformation of the disheveled Opera house back into it’s prime was very nicely done. I thought Minnie Driver was great as Carlotta (although her singing was dubbed in by Margaret Preece in post-production).


Author: Jethal