I went to see the movie today, and before I get into my review of it, it is best to warn you that I am a huge fan of the musical. Phantom is definitely my favourite Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, if not my favourite musical of all time. Anyway, the review is under a cut as not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it.
Firstly, the musical score was brilliant, as is often the case when musicals hit the big screen. The bigger budget allows them a bigger orchestra than would normally accompany the stage show. I thought that Emmy Rossum, who played Christine, did an amazing job. I was extremely impressed. I went into the film not thinking I would like her, cause she wasn’t Sarah Brightman nor was she Marina Prior. I am pleased to say I was proven wrong. I wasn’t proven wrong about Gerard Butler who played the Phantom though. I am sorry, but he was crap. Producers need to learn to cast people who can sing the role, not just kinda sing. Everyone else was doing an opera/musical, whilst the Phantom sounded like he was stuck in a high school rock opera. Also, the Phantom should not look like he belongs in a daytime soap. He doesn’t have to be as ugly as sin, but when the Phantom spending the movie posing you know something is wrong.
My biggest bug bear was the dropping of the chandelier. In the musical it occurs at the end of Act One. The Phantom has just witnessed Christine and Raoul declaring their love for each other, he gets pissed off, and when Christine is taking her bow, he throws the chandelier at her feet. Justifiable rage, I say.
In the movie version, the Phantom just looked broody and then it all faded to black. No smashing chandeliers or nothing. This meant that a considerable portion of script had to be reworded. The Phantom finally did smash the chandelier in the Don Juan opera, for no real particular reason, but hey, it let Joel Schumacher blow up the opera house so it was all good. Also, if you are going to set the Opera House on fire, don’t have Madame Giry telling her daughter Meg to ‘stay here’ in the burning Opera House. The line made perfect sense in the stage show when no one was at risk of a firey death, but just sounded damn stupid in the movie version. All in all, the movie version was okay, but give me the stage play any day.