The Phantom of the Opera (2004)—Spectacular

The Phantom of the Opera 2004 movie poster
The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera is about just what the title says it is, the man haunting the Opera Populaire  in Paris, in 1870. Erik, the titular Phantom, lives beneath the Opera House and grooms the young Christine Daae to be a diva soprano—and does a few acts of sabotage to further her career. Enter Christine’s childhood friend, Raoul, the Viscount de Chagny, and you’ve also got a love triangle. But really, it’s all about the music.

1—The Music of the Night

I adore the music of The Phantom of the Opera, and the actors and singers in the movie do the pieces justice. You really must hear the music to get a proper scope of it. It’s all emotion, from quiet moments to ebulliently large. I like that kind of over the top drama in my music.

2—Spectacle

The visuals in the movie are suitable spectacular, especially that opening sequence where it transitions from the “future” in black and white, to the “present” past in glorious, vivid color—gold and light and red and marble. Christine’s visions—we later learn her perceptions that night were off-kilter—of the trek to the Phantom’s lair are likewise stunning, with moving candelabras in the corridor and more candelabras emerging from the water during the boat ride portion.

3—Erik and Christine

I do not ship Erik and Christine because that is one unhealthy relationship. You can hear it in the word choices when they sing to each other. But it’s also because Erik has been grooming Christine since she was a child, just seven years old or so, under the guise of an angel sent by her dead father. That is not the foundation of a healthy relationship. Also, Erik is a multiple-times murderer.

Conclusion

I loved this movie, despite most people seeming to prefer the problematic romance between Christine and Erik to the much healthier romance between Christine and Raoul. I sympathize with Carlotta, who’s growing older and loosing her hard-earned place to a young up-and-comer, and loved Minnie Driver’s hammy performance of her. The film did a good job giving most players a full emotional roundness.

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