Customer Review

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works for me!!, 28 July 2005
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This review is from: The Phantom of the Opera [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Like many others I have seen the London stage version of the Phantom of the Opera and with various casts from Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman onwards and I love the show. I also love the film but those expecting an exact reproduction will be disappointed.
The film works fantastically well but inevitably has a different perspective because Joel Schumacher is not Harold Prince and this is not the stage. Schumacher, as he says, has chosen to heighten the romantic and sexual elements of Christine's relationship with the Phantom and chosen a much younger cast to portray the principals.
Emmy Rossum is a delightful Christine and whilst her voice is not up to Sarah Brightman's exquisite soprano, she sings charmingly and is actually a much better actress, which benefits the film enormously.
Despite the sword fight I still find Raoul a wet lettuce and nowhere does he appear to more disadvantaged than in the final scene in the Phantom's lair.
This is partly the weakness of the part as it is written but also due to the mesmerising performance of Gerry Butler as the Phantom - anyone would suffer in comparison. He is a stunning Phantom and you would need a heart of stone not to shed a tear for him. The fact that he is also drop-dead gorgeous did not hurt either although this can make it difficult to understand why Christine would be daft enough to choose Raoul, especially after Gerry Butler scorches the screen with this version of Point of No Return. This physical attraction is clearly intended with the open shirts and tight trousers showing off a physique to die for.
They did try to counter balance this with the murder of Buquet, much more chilling and violent than the stage version but I think most women will have forgotten this by the end of the last sequence of the film and would make a totally different choice to Christine - the Phantom is undeniably physically the more attractive of the two, as well the more interesting character. This does, therefore, make for a different story to the stage, where you feel sorry for the Phantom but he really is hideous and you don't end up fancying him like mad. Different is not, in my view, inferior.
All the music is there as we know and love it and well sung by everyone. There have been some criticisms of Gerry Butler in comparison with Michael Crawford. Well all I can say is that those who make these criticisms must be very big Michael Crawford fans if they think that he is a natural singer. I too am a Michael Crawford fan but not blinkered - like Gerry Butler he had to train hard for the role and you can certainly hear the effort occasionally on the original cast album. Gerry Butler has a great edge to his voice and he hits all the notes and when you put this together with the superlative acting performance I actually cannot think of anyone who would have done it better.
So I think if you liked the stage version of the Phantom and are prepared for this to be similar but not the same you will love this film, although I have to admit that it is probably a film that will appeal much more strongly to women than men - yes I am female.
The extras on Disc 2 are also well worth a look - watch out for the hidden extras (and they are well hidden) of the Phantom singing 'No-one would listen' and the highly amusing version of the cast and crew putting their own spin on the title song - this really shows how few people can sing. For me this is a film I will watch again and again, a great version of a show that I have loved for almost 20 years.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jan 2010 01:40:07 GMT
Kazzie says:
I have hunted all through Disc 2 for the deleted scene where the Phantom sings 'No one would listen' but I can't find it. Can anyone help? I only just bought the DVD so maybe it's been removed?

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2010 17:32:21 GMT
Go to The Movie on Disk 2, wait until it loads up and press the left arrow instead of up and down. There is 2 symbols that has a unusal drawing, one at the top of the list and a another at the bottom. If I remember rightly, the top one is Emmy Rossum's screening test as she sings "Think Of Me" while the bottom one is "No-One Would Listen". Good luck and hope you find it.

Posted on 27 Oct 2011 19:47:51 BDT
BeauCiel says:
Great review and thanks for the hints regarding the hidden extras-they are both absolutely amazing!!!
You mentioned an extra where it's possible to see a clip of both cast and crew putting their own spin on the title song.This sounds quite funny and I'd love to watch it but where would I find this extra?

Posted on 11 Feb 2015 17:34:26 GMT
Shiraz says:
Just been to see POTO at Her Majesty's Theatre London and was totally blown away, particularly by Geronimo Rauch who plays the Phantom, so was hoping to buy this to relive that incredible production. Your review is excellent and has encouraged me to purchase this DVD. Thank you.
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