Stephen Speicher

The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

Rate this movie   27 votes

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24 posts in this topic

I loved this movie. The plot and characters are romantic fiction presented in highly stylized visual splendor. The music is superb -- hauntingly beautiful melodies and themes -- and the song performances were rather remarkable, especially considering they were sung by relative unknowns. I especially enjoyed the voice and style of the young Emmy Rossum playing Christine, and the dramatic and emotional strength of the raspy Gerard Butler as The Phantom.

The marvelous cinematography takes place in a sumptuous setting of flamboyant costumes and rich scenery. It is worth seeing the movie alone for the near-opening scene where the old dilapidated theater is visually transformed into its original splendor. This movie was my film highlight of the year (2004).

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I loved it too. When first going to see it, I was apprehensive that it would be a mediocre compromise against the opera voices in the musical. However, it was silly of me to worry, because Emmy Rossum is an opera singer in training, and she does acting on the side for now ( :angry: ); Patrick Wilson (Raoul) is a major Broadway star and when the role calls for some tremendous singing he can always hold his own even against Emmy's powerful voice; Gerard Butler completely does not disappoint, though he is not a singer by training, and you wouldn't know that just by watching the movie because he combines a sort of passionate, raspy voice with some tremendously strong clear high notes when a song calls for it.

So not only was I completely unfounded in my apprehensions, I went to watch the movie a second time! And not only that, I liked it so much even after the second showing that I had to buy the soundtrack!

It's a treat, definitely the best movie of 2004 for me too, so I voted a 9.

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The DVD is due out tomorrow, Tuesday May 3rd. I can't wait!

Stephen,

I'm very excited to see this movie, especially since you rate it so highly. I'll post my thoughts tomorrow night after I watch it!

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If I wasn't getting the DVD as a gift, I'd go out and buy my own copy this instant! I'm sure you'll like it, General (Sherman B) ). I can't get enough of the soundtrack, I've been listening to it since January, almost non-stop, and I still enjoy it tremendously and am moved by it every time. Emmy Rossum is... ahhh-mazing.

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Stephen,

I'm very excited to see this movie, especially since you rate it so highly.  I'll post my thoughts tomorrow night after I watch it!

I look forward to your comments. We have been in tune about so many movies that it is almost inconceivable to me that you would not enjoy it. But, I have been surprised by differences among friends before, so it will interesting to hear about how you rate this movie.

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A perfect movie in every way that I can think B). Also, a perfect soundtrack.

I myself have been listening to it non-stop since February, and the amazing thing is that it is no where close to getting "old"-rather, each time seems more new and alive than the last.

I'll buy it :D

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I look forward to your comments. We have been in tune about so many movies that it is almost inconceivable to me that you would not enjoy it. But, I have been surprised by differences among friends before, so it will interesting to hear about how you rate this movie.

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

I give it a 10! I just finished watching it about a 1/2 hour ago, and I'm simply ecstatic.

Interestingly enough, I didn't completely warm up to it until the 18th scene (on the DVD), where Raoul and Christine sing to one another on the rooftop. That scene is breathtaking; the music and the words accompanying it are magical, definitely my favorite song in the movie. It conveyed so eloquently and passionately the emotion of love. I'm rambling, but it's simply a precious scene, the type I would have once locked away as a private treasure, as my own concretization of how "life could be and ought to be". I also love the way the song builds up until the climax. The juxtaposition of the two lovers confessing their love, while the phantom is lurking behind the shadows in pain, is also wonderful and bittersweet.

The entire cast was fantastic, especially Emmy Rossum, whose beautiful voice meshed perfectly with her physical beauty.

Stephen, I'd just like to take this moment to thank you for providing this outstanding forum (again). One of the most exquisite and personal pleasures I gain from it is being able to speak about such personal values openly, and to be heard. In today's culture, this is a pleasure one is rarely afforded, and as such is to be treasured.

And now, I return to movie, for another viewing of scene 18; I can't get enough of it, I'm entranced. The words are so perfect: "Anywhere you go, let me go too. Love me, that's all I ask of you."

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

Just found the lyrics to my favorite song in the movie, I'm posting them here to share:

RAOUL

No more talk

of darkness,

Forget these

wide-eyed fears.

I'm here,

nothing can harm you -

my words will

warm and calm you.

Let me be

your freedom,

let daylight

dry -your tears.

I'm here,

with you, beside you,

to guard you

and to guide you . . .

CHRISTINE

Say you love me

every

waking moment,

turn my head

with talk of summertime . . .

Say you need me

with you,

now and always . . .

promise me that all

you say is true -

that's all I ask

of you . . .

RAOUL

Let me be

your shelter,

let me

be your light.

You're safe:

No-one will find you

your fears are

far behind you . . .

CHRISTINE

All I want

is freedom,

a world with

no more night . . .

and you

always beside me

to hold me

and to hide me . . .

RAOUL

Then say you'll share with

me one

love, one lifetime . . .

Iet me lead you

from your solitude . . .

Say you need me

with you

here, beside you . . .

anywhere you go,

let me go too -

Christine,

that's all I ask

of you . . .

CHRISTINE

Say you'll share with

me one

love, one lifetime . . .

say the word

and I will follow you . . .

BOTH

Share each day with

me, each

night, each morning . . .

CHRISTINE

Say you love me . . .

RAOUL

You know I do . . .

BOTH

Love me -

that's all I ask

of you . . .

(They kiss)

Anywhere you go

let me go too . . .

Love me -

that's all I ask

of you . . .

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

I give it a 10!  I just finished watching it about a 1/2 hour ago, and I'm simply ecstatic.

Interestingly enough, I didn't completely warm up to it until the 18th scene (on the DVD), where Raoul and Christine sing to one another on the rooftop.  That scene is breathtaking; the music and the words accompanying it are magical, definitely my favorite song in the movie.

I have been listening to the movie soundtrack ever since seeing the film when it first opened, and I compare that soundtrack with the original London cast recording (Crawford, Brightman, etc.) and the original Canadian cast recording (Wilkinson, Caine, etc.). As marvelous as these latter renowned vocalists are, the movie version of that song gives the words a meaning beyond what these others achieve.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the movie this much.

Stephen, I'd just like to take this moment to thank you for providing this outstanding forum (again).  One of the most exquisite and personal pleasures I gain from it is being able to speak about such personal values openly, and to be heard.  In today's culture, this is a pleasure one is rarely afforded, and as such is to be treasured.

You are most welcome, and it is a pleasure for me to hear the many views voiced on THE FORUM, yours included.

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I've listened to Sarah Brightman's rendition of the title song (i.e. "The Phantom of the Opera" song), and while I think it certainly is remarkable, it's too mature for the role. Emmy's voice on the other hand, luminous, beautiful, and innocent, fits perfectly; it is youthfully clear when it ought to be, and can still pack the punch of an opera voice when situation calls for it.

Also, there was/is a big movement by the fans of the original musical, who claimed that the movie mutilated the original and did injustice to Michael Crawford by not casting him nor having him sing nor have any other trace of him in the latest rendition. They made it sound like he was this great giant of dramatic performance and song, and even had sound clips of him singing and video clips of his performance of "The Music of the Night". I looked at the videos and listened to the songs, and again while I admit that he is not bad as the Phantom, Gerry Butler is a lot more visceral and "tragedic", if that's a word. From what I've seen of Crawford, his performance is that of an actor with a role to play, who assumes the character of the Phantom. Butler's performance, on the other hand, is that of the Phantom who assumes the role of an actor with a role to play. He's totally believable.

I really think the casting for the movie was superb, as was practically everything else, including the changes to the original story that turned it from a grotesque showpiece into a bittersweet and incredibly beautiful romance/love triangle.

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I've listened to Sarah Brightman's rendition of the title song (i.e. "The Phantom of the Opera" song), and while I think it certainly is remarkable, it's too mature for the role. Emmy's voice on the other hand, luminous, beautiful, and innocent, fits perfectly; it is youthfully clear when it ought to be, and can still pack the punch of an opera voice when situation calls for it.

I tend to agree with that assessment as applying right across the board. Crawford and Brightman, and Colm Wilkinson too, have magnificent voices and are a joy to listen to. But Gerard Butler is an actor who sings, and he puts such emotion into those words that I hear them with meaning more clearly than with the others. And Emmy Rossum's voice is simply innocent and angelic and just perfect for that role.

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I really think the casting for the movie was superb, as was practically everything else, including the changes to the original story that turned it from a grotesque showpiece into a bittersweet and incredibly beautiful romance/love triangle.

What was the original story? I've never actually seen the play, only the movie. I'd be interested to hear what changes they made for the movie.

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I was very disappointed when I saw Phantom in the theater. I could barely make out what little spoken dialog there was, I understood almost none of the lyrics of any of the songs, and the singing was largely drowned out anyway by the orchestra, which often sounded muddy to me. I wasn't sure if it was horrible sound engineering in the movie or terrible acoustics in the theater.

My son bought the DVD yesterday and this afternoon I watched it on my own system. A completely different experience! I still had difficulty understanding the lyrics when the full cast was singing (in Masquerade, for example), or when more than one voice was simultaneously singing different lyrics (as in the final number in the Phantom's lair), but where before I could only follow the gist of the story, now, sometimes with the help of subtitles, I caught every nuance. Simply wonderful!

The performances were excellent all around, but Emmy Rossum stands head and shoulders above the rest. What a gem!

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

What was the original story? I've never actually seen the play, only the movie. I'd be interested to hear what changes they made for the movie.
I haven't read the original book or seen the musical, so others can fill you in better than I. But from what I understand, the original Phantom was more of a grotesque than a tragically romantic (or romantically tragic, whichever you prefer) figure. Plus the Raoul character didn't have any fight scenes in the musical from what I understand, but Frank Lloyd Webber included it in the movie to "de-sissy-fy" the character. In general, the focus was more on the perverse and disturbing aspects of the story, and not on the romantic aspect, whereas in the movie Phantom is a dashing villain who successfully competes with Raoul in terms of handsomeness, charm, and appeal. The movie is a more romantic version of the story, while the musical and the original book were apparently more focused on the grotesqueness and the tragedy of it all.

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We watched the DVD yesterday. It was one of the most visually beautiful films I've ever seen!

I'm still digesting the story. I gave it a 10.

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I have nothing to add to the critiques of the movie. I just wanted to say that it was very well done, and possibly the best movie I have seen on DVD this year.

I watched it for the first time yesterday morning with my wife on her birthday. It enhanced her day and mine as we discussed it throughout the day.

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I've seen the musical on Broadway more than ten years ago, and it's one of my best theatrical experiences ever. I also own the music on CD, and have heard it a LOT -- so I've been looking forward to seeing the movie on DVF (whenever I can get it for an affordable price). So that Stephen and others can recommend it makes me hopeful it is worth the long wait!

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I just wanted to add praise to the movie soundtrack which I bought today. I have already listened to it twice because of the quality of the songs and voices. My favorite song so far is "The Music Of The Night", his voice and words are excellent.

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Oh yes....the Soundtrack :lol:. I especially enjoy the production value...the soundtrack sounds as if the singers were sitting beside me. It's beautiful.

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Now that I have listened to the CD many, many times I have changed my favorite song from "The Music Of The Night" to "All I Ask Of You". After much thinking on the subject I have figured out why I like both of them so much. It is more than the voices by both men, as both do a great job. One of the reasons I like them both is because they are love songs, and each man is trying to win the love of Christine. Each man is trying to sell her on his life's values, the night and the light. I also think that Raoul has much more to offer Christine, obviously. I now list them as 1 and 2 of my favorites from the movie.

As of now I have not watched anything else by Andrew Lloyd Webber. But, if this is an example of the greatness of his work I am a huge fan. I would go as far to say that this movie has moved into the top 5 of my favorites.

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I would go as far to say that this movie has moved into the top 5 of my favorites.

I understand how you feel. A couple of days ago I finished watching The Phantom of the Opera, yet again. Everytime I watch it, it gets better and better. I think that is a characteristic of most great movies, since a really great movie has such richness to identify and experience. A truly beautiful, well-integrated film.

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I've watched this movie 1.5 times :D The second time I came in part way.

I consider this to be one of the best movies I've ever seen. I've never seen a musical like this, where the characters sing their parts almost throughout the entire movie. Other musicals I've seen simply had musical interludes. For instance, "Oklahoma", or "Singing in the Rain".

But, as a movie, as an experience, this was simply phenomenal.

The competition for Cristina is the engine that made this movie go. Given her beauty and talents, the motivation was strong.

This is a bit of apples to oranges, but I do have Les Miserables, the musical, on VHS, and it's better from the standpoint of the story. It’s more gripping, but it has none of the visuals that a movie brings. It's simply a staged musical. Overall, I like Phantom of the Opera better, because of the integration of the visuals with the music.

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