8 February 2005 | kirby-21
A visual and sensual feast!!!!
We had seen only the original silent movie, not the stage play, (or even the soundtrack) before going. So we knew not what to expect. But at the very opening, as the long-dead chandelier rises to life, swinging in what seems like one endless arc, and scatters the colour of memories about as it flames back to life, and the theatre is washed in colour and majesty not seen in decades... we both knew this was going to be good. And it was.
When it comes to sets, scenery and cinematography, they spared no expense. Every scene is drenched in rich detail. At the risk of sounding the heretic, I must say that a movie version removes the limitations of space and time to set up the stage, and so has the upper hand in the scenery and sets department. Some of these shots must have taken weeks to compose, and I'm glad they invested the time.
The music is just wonderful. I'd dare say that even if you are not a musical fan, if you are at least romantically inclined, you will LOVE this movie. By the end of some songs, like, "All I ask of you" I'm restraining myself from singing the song out loud with them!
The movie kind of departs from the setting of the original silent movie, in which the Phantom is actually quite hideous. This Phantom is more "mysterious" than hideous. But the attraction between him and Christine is pure, raw sensual. I mean it borders on erotic it's so strong.
During "Past the point of no return" I'm sitting there with my wife, literally falling under the spell myself. "Yea... maybe she *should* be with this guy after all..." But that's the whole point. She WAS influenced by him, and he did cast a strong spell, and he was very alluring. The movie made it so real I was beginning to feel it myself.
Some people have derided Gerard Butler's performance. Frankly, I find his throaty, sometimes raspy voice to be right on par. I heard so much ado about Michael Crawford that I went to Amazon and listened to some of his renditions of these songs. Verdict: Give me Gerard Butler! His voice is masculine, seductive, and hypnotic. In the final verdict, I find the movie versions of these songs to be FAR superiour to the Broadway versions. I say "Bravo!" to the selection of Gerard.
Definitely worth seeing in a theatre if you can. Don't wait for the DVD. See it BIG and LOUD.
My favs: Masquerade! "All I ask of you," and "Point of No Return."
Wow... Point of no return had ME believing!!!!
What raging passion floods the soul,
what rich desire unlocks its door,
what sweet seduction lies before us, ...past the point of no return...
Oh yeah, that's the stuff!