Phantom of the Opera

I have just seen Joel Schumacher’s The Phantom of the Opera on DVD. I have not read Gaston Leroux novel or seen the musical, document.write(“”); so it is difficult for me to compare. However, I have seen another movie version directed by Dwight H. Little and starring Robert Englund (Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm Street). This 1989 version is a more modern interpretation (with science-fiction elements) that tries to be an horror movie (hence the choice of Englund as the Phantom—but the fact that I kept seeing Freddy instead made it a rather funny movie) but it certainly does not have the classy look of Schumacher’ version.
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Usually, I tend to dislike musicals, but the 2004 Phantom is a very powerful movie mainly due to its somptuous sets and, of course, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music. Webber said that he wanted his musical adapted into a movie to make it more accessible to everyone, but I suspect that they just wanted to make more money out of it. It is a beautiful movie, but unfortunately there are some lengths (I briefly fell asleep when they try to trap the Phantom by playing his opera). The only extra on the DVD is the movie trailer, which is very disappointing. You need to get the
Two-Disc Special Edition to get the cool goodies. It is nevertheless quite a good entertainment.

A few interesting anecdotes (that my wife read in a Kinema Junpo article): the only known actress, Minnie Driver (who’s playing the diva Carlotta), was lip-synching (rather disappointing) and Emmy Rossum (playing Christine) was only sixteen year-old at the time of the shooting!

The Phantom of the Opera. USA/UK, 2004, 141 min.; Dir.: Joel Schumacher; Scr.: Joel Schumacher & Andrew Lloyd Webber (based on the novel by Gaston Leroux); Phot.: John Mathieson; Ed.: Terry Rawlings; Cost.: Alexandra Byrne; Cast: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera © 2004 The Scion Film Phantom Production Partnership. Packaging ©2005 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.