When I was eight and I first heard the music from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera, I thought it was the most beautiful thing I ever heard. I listened to it constantly. Eventually my tape mysteriously “disappeared.” I blame my brothers.
I read the book two or three times, and when I heard about the movie coming out, I was ecstatic. I watched the movie twice and loved it.
Then I watched it a third time and said, “Wait a second. This movie is stupid.”
This is why:
1. Christine specifically says she’s being coached by the ghost of her dead father and then says she’s being coached by an angel of music. Whoever it’s supposed to be, the Phantom is obviously not either of them. You’d think she’d wonder who he is.
2. In the Phantom’s lair, he feels her up. She should have said either, “You are the weirdest angel I’ve ever met,” or, “Daddy? What are you doing?”
3. I’ll be the first to admit; being whisked away by a handsome stranger in a mask is very erotic. Making the movie sexually charged is all fine and dandy, except the Phantom’s supposed to be ugly. That’s kind of the whole point of the story.
4. The movie doesn’t even touch on the “man behind the monster” theme until the last ten minutes, so that was really the only part I liked.
5. When Christine kisses the Phantom, it’s supposed to be this monumental moment that changes his life. The kiss loses its potency when Christine has mini orgasms every time he touches her.
6. Madame Giry: What was that character’s motivation? She helps the Phantom trick Christine for no apparent reason. That’s horrible.
7. In "Past the Point of No Return," when the flames of passion are about to consume them (her words), Christine suddenly rips off his mask and humiliates him in front of hundreds of people. Rude. Then he kidnaps her and she says "Am I now to be prey to your lust for the flesh?" Five minutes ago, the flesh-lust was pretty consensual. Now she's prey? Make up your mind, air head.
8. I know this is nit-picky, but remember when Madame Giry tells Raoul to keep his hand at the level of his eyes, then never explains why? Here's the reason: the Phantom would lasso people and strangle them, so Raoul had to keep his arm up to protect his throat.
9. I laugh every time I see the Phantom pick up a rope from the water to tie up Raoul, then climb all the way up the stairs to get another rope. It’s logical for one rope to be in the water, but it’s absurd for there to be two.
If you liked the musical, I’m positive you will like the book. It’s beautiful, mysterious, and detailed. If you hated the musical, you’ll probably like the book even more.
Don't forget to sign up for the book group! It's going to be legen (wait for it...) dary! Legendary!
Kudos to whoever recognizes that quote.