...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

January 20, 2008

The Phantom of the Opera - 5

This is one of the longest running Broadway productions, adapted from Gaston Leroux's 1909 novel by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1986. This film is the latest (2004) film iteration. It is one of the few stories that has music as an essential element of the story and plot which lends itself easily to the musical genre. Having discussed the different ways that this story can be told, I found this version lacking in the complexity that is available to the director. It is a delicate balance to keep all of the characters from being portrayed as either all good or all bad. The story sets up a love triangle. Christine (Emmy Rossum) who is an orphan taken in by a choreographer and supported and taught by "The Phantom" (Gerard Butler) who she eventually discovers is a real man who has part of his face deformed. The Phantom falls in love with Christine and wants to make her his bride, but Christine's childhood friend, Raoul (Patrick Wilson) who has just bought the Opera house also falls for Christine. Christine is torn between the two. The film focuses on the emotions of each of the characters and invites the audiences sympathies as Christine must make a difficult choice. The music is well done and the film uses it effectively to get at the heart of human emotion and the obsessions that they can incite.

1 comment:

el hombre de papel said...

Though I agree with you, I wouldn't judge the film so harshly. I am an all-time fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber, being The phantom of the opera my doubtlessly favourite.

The music is not well done, it's amazing. And I see the film as a mere way to bring the musical to a broader audience: no less, no more.
The photography is good. The acting is not bad. That's really all I can ask from a film that is not a one, but rather a vehicle.