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The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

  Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Written by: Gaston Leroux, Joel Schumacher, Andrew Lloyd Webber
Starring: Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver, Miranda Richardson, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson
Links: The Phantom of the Opera on the IMDb, Official site, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy the Book
Genre: Musical

This movie gets: 5.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"The worst acting since sliced bread" - a review by pearly

I'm not particularly into or familiar with operas. I went to see The Phantom of the Opera (film version) without having seen it before in any other version, and without really knowing what the story was about. So, if you expect to read a review about how this version compares with any other production of The Phantom of the Opera, then you'll be sorely disappointed.

In a Paris Opera House lives a Phantom (Gerard Butler), a musical genius who rules over the House by way of threats. Carlotta (Minnie Driver), the current diva of the House is running out of favour with the Phantom, who is plotting to replace her with the younger Christine (Emmy Rossum), who he has been teaching since she was very young. At the crucial moment, Raoul (Patrick Wilson), a childhood sweetheart of Christine's turns up, and the Phantom must fight not only for her place in the House, but also for the love which he craves from her.

Set almost entirely within the Opera House, it is easy to determine the stage roots of this story. However, for the film, you can see that everything has been turned up to 11 - not a particular surprise with a name like Joel Schumacher at the helm. The sets are extravagant, and the costumes intricate. But is there enough interest aside from all these bells and whistles?

One of the stand-outs from the film is unfortunately a negative. And that negative is in the form of one Minnie Driver. She was absolutely terrible as Carlotta. Every time she was on screen, my skin crawled at her utter awfulness. She played the part of the diva by affecting a stupid half-French-half-made-up accent, which she over-emphasised to within an inch of its life. Then, obviously thinking she was actually in a stage production, which had to cater for people in the back row, and not actually a filmed version which consisted of close-ups, she exaggerated every movement she made, meaning that even when she wasn't supposed to be the focus of the shot, she was the focus. Perhaps this was all part of her plan, as playing a diva, her character demanded the audience's attention. I'm not buying it, though. She succeeded in doing a horrible job, not in doing a brilliant job of playing a horrible character.

I thought about how much I disliked her portrayal so much during the film, that everything else kinda faded into the background a little. I didn't mind the story at all, and I thought that Rossum did a fine job, as did Butler, but I can still see why I'm not overly enthused on operas. I'm glad I saw it so that I now know what the tale is about, but other than that, I am nonplussed.

pearly gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 22 Feb 2005

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Reader comments

  1. you should get a hold of your self the movie was fantastic,i've seen the play twice and watching the movie put a whole differant side to things.There voices were fantastic and the special effects were out of this world!!!!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Ruaidhri on Mon 27 Jun 2005 03:49 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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