Posted on 2/20/05 09:04 PM
[center]Here in this room he calls me softly...
I realized that after all this time... I still haven't taken the time to actually formally review this movie in my journal. What the hell was I thinking? I wasn't.
Anyways... where do I start? This film grabs you from the very beginning with a unique but intriguing shot of a candle and a photograph that comes to life to represent the present/past/future, whichever way you want to look at it. The transition to the past with the chandelier gave me goosebumps, and almost other things, it was so fantastic.
The sets were gorgeous, as well as the costumes and hair and make-up. Emmy looked, acted, and sounded wonderful as the young Christine. More realistic than Brightman's rendition, I was able to feel sorry for her more than I could when I saw the stage version. The entrance of Raoul to the theatre was wonderful and appropriate, and he was also more believable (See Mr. February) than Barton. The music was nothing less than the stage version and had an even bigger impact with the more personal film shots (e.g. going down to the dungeon to see The Phantom when Christine hits a high note during "Think Of Me".) Gerard was great as the Phantom, but not perfect. Key changes here and there to adjust to his obviously limited vocal range were few and did nothing to belittle his portrayal of a more emotional, angry, and sexual Phantom than Crawford's classy and mysterious version.
The story was paced wonderfully as Webber cut out and added a few measures of music, and had a few of the lines talked. This bothered me at first but I realized that it worked a lot better on film than I had imagined. The ending song was beautiful and I am so glad they didn't talk any of the lines. The three of their voices together were perfect and jaw-dropping. The emotion in Emmy's voice and eyes in that scene were heart-wrenching.
Overall I have never loved a movie more than I love this movie. It matches only Titanic in the amount of times I have seen it in the theatre, and I will own it much sooner and with less jewelry (Fake Heart of the Ocean).