Phantom of The Opera, The
Quick Take: A disfigured musical genius, hidden away in the Paris Opera House, terrorizes the opera company for the unwitting benefit of a young protege whom he trains and loves.
Torifanís review: I always want to say that I'm not a huge fan of musicals. But in truth, I loved Evita, and I loved this film version of The Phantom of the Opera. Going in I knew absolutely nothing about this plot, other than a vague understanding that the Phantom lived in the opera house and apparently haunted it. Yes, I am deprived and have never seen this on Broadway, or even locally. I loved this film version though, so itís high on my list of things to do. So the story goes, The Phantom of the Opera is a really a scarred man (literally) who lives in the opera house because one of its patrons took him in as a child, saving him from a life as a circus freak. He truly feels he is a freak, and resigns himself to a life in the dungeons below the opera house, which do look amazingly like Hell in this movie. He hides in the shadows a lot, but does come out at opera performances to pronounce things like, "Don't mess with me, you fools, or you will pay," and "My, donít I look fetching in my mask!" haha! It makes one wonder why someone doesn't just grab him when he's right there in the open for them to catch, but apparently their skills at grabbing someone right in front of you are feeble. The opera house owners are a greedy bunch who really only care about making money for the house, and The Phantom not only scares away patrons, he starts taking out the goons that have been hired to finally come after him.
Bean and I felt the Phantom (Gerard Butler) was justified in what he did; the only people he hurt were people who poked their noses in where they didnít belong. As Bean calls them, these nosepokers got what they deserved! But why does The Phantom haunt the house? Well, for love, of course! The Phantom has inspired and nurtured, though from a distance, opera house singing sensation Christine (Emmy Rossum). He became enamored of her and when she refused his advances in favor of a Generic Suitor (Patrick Wilson), he went a little mad and started threatening and killing a few people (mostly the nosepokers I mentioned before). The true sadness of this story is that The Phantom was looking for the same thing we all are-love. And all he got was torment and abandonment. Iíll let you decide what you think of the ending, but I loved it. It was befitting of such a sad tale.
I also have to mention the music in this film, naturally! Someone did a very pop version of the famous theme from The Phantom of The Opera, which I loved. Who would have thought The Phantom could be so contemporary? I donít go to a lot of operas, in fact I donít go to any. But if I did, Iíd be sure to scan the rafters for a guy in a mask, so I could yell, "Don't let the nosepokers get you! Iím on your side, Phantom!"
If you like musicals, and drama, or even if you donít, this was a very enjoyable film. The story is considered a classic, and with pop ditties like the one in this film, I can see why.