Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

Movie - The Phantom of the Opera

Written by johnleemk on 2:04:38 am May 14, 2005.

  • Music10 out of 10

  • Acting7 out of 10

  • Ugliness of Phantom1 out of 10

  • Props/decor/costumes10 out of 10

  • Overall8 out of 10

Last night, I managed to watch the silver screen adaptation of this musical for the first time. It was quite interesting, although I did find enough boring moments to return to reading Fortune for a few minutes.

The props and costumes were certainly as colourful and breathtaking as advertised. There's not much else to say about them, because all they did was their job: to look nice.

The music was top-notch, of course; the vocals are clear and beautiful, and the instruments aren't too shabby either. Not bad for a bunch of Hollywood actors (excepting Minnie Driver, who had her operatic lines dubbed).

The acting wasn't bad, but I found Emmy Rossum looking a bit wooden at times. The overall acting wasn't really impressive like the performance Russell Crowe gave in A Beautiful Mind (which I really should be reviewing soon). It just faded into the background for the most part; the music basically steals the show.

But the Phantom's deformation isn't that ugly; it's not at all like the horrible disfiguration in the 1925 movie adaptation of the novel, and it really strikes you more as a really bad case of sunburn. With all the attention paid to props, you'd think they could have made the Phantom a bit more uglier.

And there's the weird accent issue — Patrick Wilson and quite a few actors speak with a slight American accent, but Jennifer Ellison is clearly using a British one. Miranda Richardson puts on a French accent, and Minnie Driver does an over-the-top Italian diva. Then you have Gerard Butler's Scottish accent creeping in here and there. Just what are the actors supposed to be? A hodge-podge of immigrants gathered in New York?

Other than that, a really good movie, if only for the music. Isn't a masterpiece or classic, and doesn't touch me as much as some other movies I've seen, but it'll do for somewhere in between. I haven't seen the original musical, however, so I can't compare the movie with it. Nevertheless, this movie isn't that easy to forget. Thumbs up.

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