|The Phantom of the OperaDate: na — DVD / VHS|
I absolutely ADORED this movie. I am a long-time lover of the musical. I saw it 3 times on stage. Twice with Michael Crawford. All three times with Dale Christian as Christine. And of course I have well worn CD's with Sara Brightman in the role of Christine as well. I will say that when you have such talented musicians, it is different to move then to actors who can sing. Now, I generally believe that the difference between actors who can sing, and singers who can act is simply years of vocal training. And I will say that I thought that the actors in this movie were talented singers, who simply haven't trained long enough yet. However, considering the medium that film is, I believe it was more important to have good actors than good singers, despite the movie being almost completely sung.
You need to be able to look into the actors eyes and feel that you are there with them. And I definitely felt that. It took me a few minutes to get used to new people in well-loved roles. But once I did, I was completely engrossed. I thought the casting was excellent. The Phantom exuded anger, as well as vulnerability. Christine was a fitting young Chorus girl. Raoul was handsome and talented. Miranda Richardson was PERFECTLY cast as Madame Giry. Though I did wish that they hadn't cast Minnie Driver as Carlotta. Nothing against Minnie Driver. She's been a favorite of mine since "Circle of Friends", but I thought Carlotta, as an established Diva, should have been older and more robust.
As far as the actual movie goes, I thought it lended itself beautifully to film. With a camera you could go places that you simply can't on a stage. And there was a chance to get into background on the Phantom, how he got to the Opera Populaire, and why he was so angry. It also allowed you to get close to the characters themselves. I loved the scene where Meg begins following the path underground and is stopped by her mother. You really see the difference between reality and the fantasy that the Phantom creates.
I think I felt just as seduced by the film as I did by the musical, and while I had a couple little beefs, overall, I thought they did a great job. Even the few little changes, and the one big one (the timing of the chandalier crash) I thought were well done, and well-reasoned. I loved this movie and look forward to owning it!