Switch to desktop

The Phantom of the Opera

The Diva's review of
The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

The Phantom of the Opera Rated PG -13; running time of 143 minutes
Genre: Musical Drama
Written By: Andrew Lloyd Webber & Joel Schumacher, based on the novel by Gaston Leroux
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver, Ciaran Hinds, Simon Callow


The Digest

It’s 1870 and the focal point of this story is a French Opera house. All of the performances center around the temperamental Diva, Carlotta (Minnie Driver). She throws temper tantrum after temper tantrum until she gets her way. Everyone bends over backwards to please even though her voice is sub-par because she is all that they have. New patrons come on to the scene and with advice from the last Patron, they give into her. They don’t follow all of his advice or that of Madam Giry (Miranda Richardson). Madame is the choreographer and chaperone to the young girls who dance and live in the opera house. She informs the new patrons that they must pay The Phantom of the Opera ( Gerard Butler) or horrible things will begin to happen. They ignore her and it may prove to be their undoing. First, however, they must deal with Carlotta. She has walked of the set again and this time she vows not to come back. Before they can beg her to come back up, Madame Giry pushes a shy chorus girl to the front and declares that this young Christine (Emmy Rossum) can sing in place of Carlotta.

Christine informs them that she has had voice lessons, but from whom she does not know. She calls him her music angel – everyone else calls him The Phantom. Undeterred, they move forward and Christine is fabulous. The Phantom who secretly loves Christine takes pride in her triumph and credit for it. Christine does reject, but not because of his face, but because of her love for Raoul (Patrick Wilson). Her defiance starts the wheel in motion to a most disastrous conclusion that threatens to take the lives of all involved.

The Dish

The Phantom is consumed with fear that Christine won’t love him once she sees his face. It never occurred to him that she won’t love him because he is an ASS. He needs love, that much is certain, but he also needs an ass whupping. Threatening people, kidnapping, temper tantrums, bad manners, and just ridiculous behavior in general. Someone should have grabbed him by his ear and made him apologize. Yeah I know he was treated as a savage when he was a child, but for someone who wants to set forth the appearance of refinement, he needs to work on his social skills.

I’m also amazed at Christine. I have to tell you if a voice is speaking to me every night and I can’t see the body – I’m out. This is not a situation that I would embrace. By no stretch of the imagination. After I determine that I don’t know this person nor can I find said person, I’m living in a new house and calling The Ghostbusters. It’s not up for discussion. And if some creepy guy shows up in a mask and it’s not my husband playing a joke, then No, I will not be following you down into an underground lair. Again the police will be called and I may stick around long enough to point them in the general direction.

Look. I get the story. It’s not that I can’t appreciate it – if it made sense. I can even appreciate it for its music even though I didn’t care for it, but I can’t abide by stupid people and bad music. I love Joel Schumacher ( Car Wash, Sparkle or The Wiz anyone?) he penned one of my favorite movies of all time – the Wiz. I also dig a lot of his directing efforts. I can dig Andrew Lloyd Webber too. But nothing meshed in this outing. And good GOD one of my pet peeves – American accents in movies set in other lands. I will NEVER forgive John Malkovich for what he did in Joan of Arc. It made me hate the movie that much more. In the case of The Phantom – thanks a lot Patrick Williams. Thanks for screwing up by being a French Viscount from Malibu.

And while I liked the Flash forward scenes set in 1917 – almost 50 years after everything took place – I can’t for one second believe that some of those characters that are in the flash forward are the same age, nor can I believe for a second that one or two of them should be about 179 years old. Okay that’s an exaggeration, but hey should be in at least their 90s and in better health than the 70 year olds. And did that many people really live to be that old back then? I know not everyone died by 30, but wasn’t 60+ fairly rare?

The Directive

This is one adaptation that should have stayed on stage. The music is good, but just buy the soundtrack and wait for the movie to come on cable.


Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2004
EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

red The Phantom of the Opera will haunt your every waking moment – like bad fish.






Developed by Francis Doody

Top Desktop version