The Phantom of the Opera Film Review
The Phantom of the Opera is based on the long running stage show by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which is an adaptation from the Gaston Leroux novel. The idea of a film adaptation was suggested as early as 1988, but took until 2004 to come to fruition.
The plot is centered around a Parisian Opera House ‘The Opéra Populaire’ during the 1870s. The story told via flashbacks.
The Opera House is under new management of Gilles André (Simon Callow) and Richard Firmin (Ciaran Hinds soon to be seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) when the leading lady, Opera Diva Carlotta Giudicelli (Minnie Driver of The Rishes television series), quits the show allowing a young chorus girl Christine (Emmy Rossum) to step up into limelight to take her place.
Unknown to everyone except her foster mother Madame Giry (Miranda Richardson) Christine has been tutored musically for years by an unseen “Angel of Music” whom she mistakenly believes to be the spirit of her father.
The unseen is tutor is The Phantom of the Opera (Gerard Butler) a disfigured musical genius who haunts the catacombs beneath the Opéra Populaire. He was smuggled there by a young Madame Giry as a child and has lived there in isolation from the world. The music from the opera House was his only connection to the world outside. He even demands a box to be left empty at every performance so that he may watch it.
The Phantom’s connection with Christine develops into an obsession when Raoul (Patrick Wilson) shows a love interest in Christine. The Phantom’s jealous nature leads to him murder. The situation spirals out of control resulting in his abduction of Christine during a show.
The daughter of Madame Giry, Meg (Jennifer Ellison) leads the police to the catacombs to find her. Raoul precedes them and tries to save Christine. Unfortunately winds up at the Phantom’s mercy.
Christine is forced to choose between them. She chooses Raoul. She does kiss the Phantom showing him that she does care for him, just not how he would desire. He allows them to escape in a small rowboat. The Phantom of the Opera smashes his mirrors and disappears leaving his iconic mask behind him for Meg to find.
The film then cuts back to an elderly Raoul visiting Christine’s grave to find a rose tied with a ribbon and a ring that the phantom had given to Christine. This implies the Phantom never let go of her.
This is a lovingly delivered film, which is fairly close to the stage show. There a few extra scenes.
For example the fall of the chandelier being moved to the finale instead of the end of the first act.
It’s opulence and visually stunning sets are coupled with excellent performances from the cast. The actors sang well, except Minnie Driver who was dubbed. However she did perform a specially written song in the credits.
Gerard Butler as the Phantom gives a compelling dark performance as an actor and a singer. His former experience as a lead singer in a rock band called Speed may have helped him in delivering such a strong performance.
Favourite Phantom of The Opera Moment:
Gerard Butler kissing Emmy Rossum
Phantom of The Opera Movie Trivia
- Actors considered for the role of the Phantom included John Travolta, Antonio Banderas and the original stage phantom Micheal Crawford.
- Although Gerard Butler comes from a musical background, he took personal singing lessons for this film.
- Gerard Butler had to endure hours of make-up to create his disfigured appearance, but to add this Gerry had a string tied below his eye to make it to appear more pronounced when the mask was pulled down. An in joke amongst the cast, would be to pull on it between takes.
Phantom of The Opera Film Release Dates:
USA 21 December 2004
UK 10 December 2004
Phantom of The Opera UK Film Premiere date:
UK 06 Dec 2004
Film Director : Joel Schumacher
Film Cast : Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Minnie Driver, Miranda Richardson, Simon Callow, Ciaran Hinds.
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Phantom of The Opera Film Trailer: