Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Movie Review: Phantom of the Opera (2004)

Phantom of the Opera (2004) Posted by Hello

So, finally I get to see "Phantom of the Opera" and I have to tell you that the story, the exquisite singing and the lavish sets, sent shivers down my spine! The Phantom of the Opera (which I will call POTO from now) was based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage production which in turn is based on M.Gaston Leroux's novel, "L'Fantome de L'opera", which he wrote after being inspired by Le Place de La opera and roaming its lower depths, labyrinths and subterranean lake.

The plot is this: a disfigured young man is rescued from a travelling circus for freaks and is given refuge in an opera in Paris in 1870. As he grows up, the Paris Opera House becomes his playground (he lives in catacombs beneath the opera house) and he becomes a genius at writing musical scores. His attention is captured by one of the chorus girls (Christine) in the opera and he takes it upon himself to give her voice lessons without revealing himself (the girl thinks that it is the spirit of her dead father who is her angel of music). When the Christine falls in love, the Phantom cannot handle the jealousy he feels and sets about causing devastation to the opera house and to everyone assoicated with it.

Gerard Butler a young actor from Glasgow acts the part of the Phantom and although his voice cannot hold a candle to Michael Crawford (the actor who played the Phantom in the original Broadway play), he has the right amount of passion, brooding, anger and intensity that one comes to associate with the Phantom.

Emmy Rossum (Jake Gyllenhaal’s girlfriend in The Day After Tomorrow) and a young opera star plays Christine Daae and she does a great job. Her ethereal beauty and her beautiful singing voice are prefect for the role of Christine. The biggest surprise was Minnie Driver who was cast as Carlotta, the opera's reigning diva. I think Minnie Driver brought a whole lot of comic relief to the movie and she was wonderful at playing the spoiled Italian prima donna! While the rest of the cast did their own singing, Carlotta's arias were dubbed by a professional opera singer, however, you can hear Minnie Driver's singing over the credits. She has recently made a new album (country style) called, "Everything I've got in my Pocket".

POTO was directed by Joel Schumaker. He was personally picked by Andrew Llyod Webber for this job and I think he comes through for the project admirably.

In closing, IF YOU LIKED... Madame Butterfly, Evita, Cabaret... YOU’LL LIKE THIS.