Having read the original book, I watched this one and adored it. One of the things that first struck me was the incredible detail put into it. The set and costume design are matched perfectly with the original illustrations. Svengali, at the start, even plays Chopin's impromptu. Even though the story itself is a trifle different from the book, it is still mesmerizing to watch. In contrast to the book, Svengali is deprived of his malice, and left only with a frightful hypnotizing power. Other than Svengali himself, the other characters are exactly as in the book, and was wonderful. It was very moving, to have the first half hour or so be comical, and light-hearted, then the last half be absolute tragedy. It was such a great film.
An over-rated musical made into a two hour long commercialism event.
The '05 version I find most lacking in all of the Phantom films. It is completed with mediocre actors with voices that almost barely carry the story along, and even a hint of plagiarism on Mr. Webber's part concerning Pink Floyd's Echoes. Of all the Phantom media, and there is a lot of it, this is probably the most shallow. The character development is non-existent. There are base elements of Phantom dressed in admittedly fine music. Very little is new or even that exciting. This version, the musical, and everything about it, is highly over-rated. I still recommend it, but not if you are looking for actual substance. I am very sad that this version is currently the most popular. I guess people will look for anything with a pretty face, (even if there isn't even supposed to be one.)
Just because it's different, does not mean it's bad.
It took forever to find and purchase, but I am glad to complete my 'Phantom of the Opera' collection with this. This is a wonderful adaptation. Sandor Korvin is now the Phantom, disfigured by acid as with several other film versions. The music, mostly from Gounod's 'Faust', adds a powerful backing to this film. There are tones of several stories, including Faust, Orpheus, and several other classics. Though it may begin different from the original story, it blends in wonderfully later on, almost becoming entirely from the Leroux original. And remember, without various adaptations, there would be no creativity in the world. The Phantom has yet to fail me.
This version of the classic tale will break your heart.
Every person I know who has seen this film has cried through the second half. It is based off of the Yeston musical, 'Phantom'. Even though it is strange for the disfigured Erik to have loving parents, it is a surprisingly effective point that matches the story perfectly, and does not subtract from the total outcome. The actors are perfectly matched with parts, and they never seem out of place. The score from several operas really bring it together. On it's own, it is very easily one of the best. It is different enough from the musical it is based on (as well as the book for that matter) to be on it's own, but still retains all of the power that you get from both. You hardly realize you are sitting there watching for hours at a time.