Thursday, December 24, 2015

What's Next On My List? The Phantom Of The Opera

For this year's Christmas review I wanted to stay on the musical route. This might not be Christmassy for most people, but for me it is, because it is a story set in the winter and the movie itself came out right before Christmas.

Christine Dae has always been in the background of a major opera house, until a mysterious Phantom inside the opera house plays with the directors. He manages to get Christine in the spotlight and then shows himself to her for the first time. Christine, however, doesn't fall in love with him the way he had hoped, and she gets together with her childhood crush, Raoul, who doesn't believe that the Phantom is a real person. Once he reveals himself to make sure his demands are met, the Opera House as a one person decides to fight him, Soon enough he realizes that if he really loves Christine he should let her go instead of expecting her to love him out of fear.

I have a love and hate relationship with this musical. I love the movie, I think it was a hundred times better than almost any other musical movie. Why? Well it elevated the play. Movie is a great medium and it gives way to a lot of things that a live play cannot do. This was my main problem with Les Miserables (click here to read my review!) that it didn't give me any extra. It didn't give me anything about the past of the characters instead it gave me a lot of close ups that made me think I was invading someone's personal space... here I know what happened to the Phantom, I know his back story I know why he is this way! Then, I have Christine and I get to know her dad, her feelings about Raoul, and her fear of the Phantom as well as interest in him. Not to mention the scenery... this movie is incredible to look at! It took everything from the play and just kicked it up a notch and it needed that! The opera house, the snow, the choreography, and the chandelier! Not to mention the actors... in the theatre many times (especially in Hungary) the Phantom is played by someone who is very ugly... they might be able to sing but I could never believe the struggle that Christine goes through with her devotion to the Phantom and her love of Raoul. Here I do! I do think this is hard for her, I do find that there is a conflict within her over the person who taught her how to sing and brought her fame as well as the person she had loved all of her life.
Finally, I wanted to talk about the actors... a lot of people criticize this movie for the singing and I don't get that... I know why they laugh at a Russell Crowe, I also get why you shouldn't have mainstream Hollywood actors in a musical movie just because they are famous... but you don't here! You have actors who weren't well known and who sing very well and act very well! But I mentioned in the beginning that I have a love and hate relationship and well... the hate part comes in when the casting is not good. And I have encountered that more often on stage than in the movie: here it works. So although this being an ultimate classic I still prefer the movie over the play. Moving on, the music? Sublime and I listen to every recording available out there, from anniversary concerts to the original Broadway cast as well as the movie version. I can honestly say this is one of my favorite musicals of all time! And the movie does do it justice! You just can't beat that song when it starts playing...

Watch it? Please do. Don't believe the critics and actually compare it to other musical movies! You'll see that there is something magical in this one that truly catapults it out of this world! And the winter scene? It screams Christmas to me and there is a nod to a happy ending that makes this touching, but terrifying story a perfect movie/musical/play! (And I am aware it was originally a book!)

Until the next item on my list!


_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Phantom of the Opera - Gerard Butler
Christina Dae - Emmy Rossum
Madame Giry - Miranda Richardson
Carlotta - Minnie Driver
Firmin - Ciarán Hinds
Andre - Simon Callow

1 comment:

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