Andrew Lloyd Webberâ€™s stage production of The Phantom of the Opera is one of the longest running Broadway shows in history. Since 1988, fans have flocked to the Majestic Theater on West 44th Street to witness the majesty of Webberâ€™s much-admired classic. Now, Phantom aficionados all over the U.S. can catch the show in their own homes. However, whether or not they will be satisfied with the Hollywood adaptation is a matter left unknown.
The Phantom of the Opera, the film, will most likely please those partial toward singing and romance on the big-screen. It is a fabulous production for those who have an affinity for lush-looking musicals. As for fans of the black-and-white silent horror, most will find that Webber and Schumacherâ€™s work has nix on the 1925 original.
Andrew Lloyd Webberâ€™s adaptation takes a classic horror feature and morphs it into a lavish love story that bares a resemblance to Beauty and the Beast. Webber refigures the original full-face mask of the Phantom into a fashion faux pas and an insignificant band-aid of a covering. Here, the Phantom is not as grotesque and horrifying as Lon Chaneyâ€™s grim and ghastly portrayal, but rather more of an Antonio Banderas look-alike. And as such, this handsome hunk character, with only a smidgen of scarred flesh, simply doesnâ€™t work.
With a mystifying and magical opening sequence where the chandelier is restored to life and the color is brought back into every aspect of the opera house, The Phantom begins. Legend has it that a phantom haunts the 19th century Paris opera house. Only the legend isnâ€™t a myth; itâ€™s factual. Deep within the cellars of the opera house lives a musical mastermind, who chooses to hide his unsightly face behind a small white mask.
This disfigured man, known as the Phantom of the Opera (Gerard Butler), soon falls in love with Christine Daae (Emmy Rossum), a chorus girl whom the Phantom has been giving voice lessons while she sleeps. The Phantomâ€™s love for Christine grows, and he demands that Christine replace Carlotta (Minnie Driver) as the operaâ€™s leading lady. However, embers begin to burn between Raoul (Patrick Wilson) and Christine, who were once childhood sweethearts, and with this, the Phantom becomes infuriated. In an attempt to cure his broken heart, he spreads fear and holds the operaâ€™s cast, crew, and audience at his mercy.