December 30th, 2004

Phantom of the Opera

allannah and I saw Phantom of the Opera today. I talked her into it, largely because I heard that the movie was a real trainwreck, and I wanted to gawk.

Emmy Rossum is spectacular as Christine. The visuals are stunning, especially the rooftop scenes and those shot beneath the opera house. The Masquerade number is extremely well done-- lavish, lovely, and spot on.

And I have thus run out of good things to say. The real problem? The Phantom can't sing! Gerard Butler does a truly abysmal job, sometimes just not carrying the part well, and sometimes actually growling out his numbers. And he's far too good-looking to be the Phantom. While Miranda Richardson plays a credible Madame Giry, the rest of the cast is remarkable only in that it's unremarkable.

The plot, never the show's strong suit, is muddied, uneven, and contorted. And though it hardly seems possible, Webber's emotional manipulation is even more heavy-handed than the staged version.

My personal beef? They altered my favorite line in the entire show. I was rather fond of, "I trust her midnight oil is well and truly burned", but now it's been watered down into something about not being harmed. Feh.

You should thank us-- we threw ourselves onto this grenade so that you don't have to.