Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s the Phantom of the Opera

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief violent images

Reviewed by: Charity Bishop
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Genre:
Drama, Musical/Performing Arts, Suspense/Horror
Length:
2 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
______
Featuring: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Alan Cumming, Minnie Driver
Director: Joel Schumacher
Producer: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Copyright, Warner Brothers
Copyright, Warner Brothers
Copyright, Warner Brothers
Copyright, Warner Brothers
Copyright, Warner Brothers
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Brothers

“The world’s biggest musical!”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “This romantic musical epic is about a mysterious masked figure, Erik (Butler), who roams the undergrounds of 19th century Paris, centering his activity around (or under) the Opera Populaire, where he tutors a beautiful young soprano, Christine (Rossum), who goes on to upstage the city’s most famous opera singer, Carlotta (Driver). The Phantom thinks he’s found love, until Christine’s childhood boyfriend, Vicomte de Chagny (Wilson) shows up.”

When originally penned in 1914, The Phantom of the Opera was not taken as serious literature but a sensational novel. It has spurred a number of horror spin-offs but only became known to the world as a tragic tale of romance and obsession through the ingenious musical on Broadway in the 1980’s by Andrew Lloyd Webber who, after twenty years, finally has the scope to bring his massive production to the big screen.

Opening after the turn of the century in Paris, the various set pieces and props from the Opera House are on auction, a legacy of forgotten memories for those who recall its former days of glory. As the chandelier rises, the dust and cobwebs are blown away from the magnificent architecture, taking us back in time to the height of the Opera’s popularity. Monsieur’s André and Firmin (Ciarán Hinds, Simon Callow) have recently undertaken the opera’s management and are being shown its intricacies by the former manager, who is overly eager to retire.

Together with their wealthy patron, the young Viscount Raoul de Cheney (Patrick Wilson), they are introduced to the opera’s grand diva, La Carlotta (Minnie Driver). Temperamental and demanding, after an incident involving a falling backdrop, Carlotta storms from the stage and refuses to sing for the grand opening that evening. The ever-resourceful and all-knowing Madam Giry (Miranda Richardson), who oversees the ballet troupe and keeps everything behind the scenes in working order, suggests that they replace the grand diva with Christine Dáee (Emmy Rossum).

The daughter of a famous violinist but orphaned at an early age, Christine has a strong, beautifully powerful voice that resonates throughout the theatre, drawing praise and applause from the crowds and critics alike, and enchanting Raoul, who is eager to remind her of their former childhood acquaintance. He is desirous of taking her out that evening after the performance in celebration of her success, but Christine cautions him on how strict her musical tutor is. Before she can protest, Raoul is out the door to fetch his carriage… and she is not there when he returns. Instead Christine is paid a visit from her “Angel of Music,” a mysterious composer (Gerard Butler) who dwells beneath the opera house. He has taken her beneath his wing, teaching her the true art of music and vocal talents, hidden from the world due to a hideous facial deformity.

While his love is silent and eternal, Christine grows to fear his dark nature. Her only salvation lies in Raoul’s ability to free her from the Phantom’s power, but the ghostly presence that haunts the opera house will not relinquish his pupil easily.

Ultimately a tale of romance, compassion, and revenge, “The Phantom of the Opera” is a glamorous spectacle from beginning to end. No expense was spared in bringing the Tony-award winning stage production to film, and it shows in every glorious frame. Candlelight flickering among the arches, the breathtaking first glimpse of the Phantom’s Lair, the beautiful costumes and jaw-dropping architecture. This film is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous. I’ve never seen such grandeur, and yet it never overwhelms the actors.

Everything audiences know and love from Broadway is here, in addition to a swordfight and the opportunity to view the chandelier crashing to the ground and bursting into flame in a massive explosion of light. Most of the music is intact, but lyrics have been tweaked here and there, and a few alterations made to strengthen and modify the title track. Fans of the original recording may find themselves initially disappointed in the vocal talents if they have not been forewarned. Gerard Butler is no Michael Crawford; his limitations are occasionally apparent, but it’s his presence that is utterly remarkable. He puts such passion into the Phantom that he commands every frame; we are so enthralled with him that we can forgive moments of vocal weakness.

A perfect foil for him is Emmy Rossum. Her youth, beauty, and marvelous voice bring to life a very poignant Christine. Their scenes together are eclectic; sexual chemistry is evident, while her attraction to the quiet Raoul is very different and entirely innocent.

Patrick Wilson’s voice is breathtaking and he brings empathy to a character that normally fades beneath the empowering presence of the Phantom.

The cast member having the most fun is Minnie Driver, whose Carlotta drives the managers absolutely out of their minds and leaves the audience in peals of laughter.

The supporting cast is fabulous but one of the greater performances is by Miranda Richardson as Madam Giry, the formidable ballet instructor whose presence is slightly menacing and mysterious throughout.

There have always been mild content issues to contend with in this epic tale. Musical lyrics often carry subtle sensual undertones, particularly evidenced in Erik’s treatment of Christine in Music of the Night, and their duet for The Point of No Return, which is ultimately part of the opera Don Juan Triumphant in which a lord attempts to seduce an innocent young woman. In the former, while Erik encourages his visitor to give way to her senses and embrace the quiet, tranquil darkness that is his realm, he runs his hands over her in a briefly lingering caress. PoNR ends with violent and purposefully sensual embrace while the lyrics reflect on the lovers having “reached a point of no return,” intimating that they are now to share physical passion and wondering what new discoveries will be made entangled in one another’s arms.

The Victorian audience in the Opera House is scandalized. The managers muse on whether Raoul has slept with Christine. She accuses the Phantom of intending to indulge in his “lust for flesh,” and Erik bemoans that his face has prevented him from such possibilities. One of the stagehands moons Carlotta as she passes by.

Female nudity often appears in the Opera House sculptures. There’s also a dwarf who likes peeking under skirts, and very mild bawdiness appears briefly in an opera. One of the stagehands is strangled and dropped above the stage to terrify the ballet dancers. A boy is beat with a cane in a freak side show and then murderously turns on his attacker. A swordfight draws blood but the victor shows mercy at the intervention of Christine. A chandelier rips from the ceiling and comes crashing down into the audience, creating a massive explosion as people flee for their lives. Carlotta is hit by a falling backdrop but not harmed.

The Phantom becomes physically violent with Christine on two occasions, once striking her to the ground after she’s torn free his mask, and then dragging her to his lair by force. There are a half dozen mild profanities and abuses of deity. The Phantom has many negative and even murderous flaws but is not painted as the villain of the piece; he is empathetic even when acting for his own benefit, his actions made to seem justified through the torments of his previous public life. While he occasionally kills for sport and takes pleasure blackmailing the managers into paying his expensive salary, ultimately he is redeemed through compassion and love.

There are many moral discussions to be talked about after viewing the film, including whether or not the Phantom was given to madness or just obsession, if we are to have compassion for people with deformities or base our feelings on their actions (Christine tells him that his cruelty has turned her tears of empathy to tears of hatred), and if the heart can overpower hideousness. Raoul and Christine are both asked to make sacrifices for love. Audiences will have conflicted feelings about this one. Some may see the redemption of Christ in the role of Raoul and Christine, who eventually bring light into the Phantom’s life, but others may be shocked at the darkness pervading the script.

The film may not be perfect, but for a Phantom “Phan” such as myself, was a remarkable and emotional journey into familiar places and events that have until now remained only on the stage.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor

Viewer Comments
Positive—…there are some darker elements and the film is not fit for young children because of the violence and sensual aspect of some of the dance numbers, but the film is a powerful glimpse at the nature of evil and redemption through love…
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Charity B., age 21
Neutral—Very beautiful cinematography, this film had some breathtaking shots and sequences… that was the highlight of the film for me. At first I was certain it had the potential to be “amazing” because you can do so much more with a film then on a stage, HOWEVER after only a few minutes I realized that there is nothing comparable to the stage and I found myself quite bored at times.

I felt some of the talent was mediocre and that much of the heart of the story on stage was removed and became a bout of melodrama that went on far too long on screen. Overall the cinematography was beautiful at times, and the music so familiar to my heart was beautiful, but I don’t think I will devote two and a half hours to seeing this film again.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—M. Wagner, age 28
Positive—The Phantom is the Devils’ child and hurt and rejected because of his physical appearance. His love for Christine is demanding and requires payment—love him only because of what he has done for her. The Phantom sees himself as flawed because of vain value of external beauty. She points out he believes that way because of his soul.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Marc Christopher Tesio, age 47
Positive—Well, I must say this movie sent me to paradise with the music! The cinematography was amazing and the acting stupendous! Full Marks!!! The movie is alluring, yet dark and romantic, but not sexual. There is an underlying sensuality that is continually prevalent throughout the whole movie. The singing is phenomenal and the story fantastic. I never saw this on the stage but my husband did and he enjoyed it more because it said it helped him understand the story more.

My first negative thoughts as I sat in my chair at the theater today were that there was WAY too much cleavage shown in the dresses of the women there! This may be the way the Parisian women dressed at that time, but hey, there are ways of redirecting the camera lense if you know what I mean. There was also a little too much lingerie worn by Christine as she ventures into the underworld with the phantom. There is also a seen where a man reveals his bare rear end; which was totally unnecessary.

Overall, this was one of the best movies I have seen in a long long time. NO SEX, NO FOUL LANGUAGE… this is RARE now days. It will sure to be on my shelf when it hits the stands for sure. Will I let any of our 5 children watch it… probably not. ONLY because it is a dark story and because of the overall sensuality of the movie.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Claire Guthrie, age 35
Positive—For one who has never been able to afford seeing the “real thing” on stage; I thought it was remarkable and well worth the movie ticket price. The movie is a bit dark and does raise some rather interesting and well worth asking questions. However, if it’s a choice between the “Harry Potter” movies or “The Phantom of the Opera” I’d take my little sister to this one any day!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Steph D, age 21
Negative—I found the dances to be very sexual. There is violent and scary content. This film is not for anyone under the age of 17. It should have got an R rating.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/3]
—Amy R, age 35
Positive—Simply the best movie I’ve seen this year. I did not find anything offensive for a PG-13 rating. It’s a beautiful story of love, compassion and redemption. The music was enchanting and emotionally charged. It’s one of those movies I could watch over and again.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Maria, age 23
Positive—A fantastic, must-see movie for any fan of the Broadway musical! The sets are rich and lush and the acting superb. And of course… the MUSIC! The famous music is powerful and transforming! I LOVED this movie!! As for decency, the movie shows far less nudity than it could have given the rather provocative plot. For example, the Phantom kidnaps Christine and takes her to his underground lair, but when she faints, he puts her in his bed and leaves, allowing her to wake up- instead of taking advantage of her sleeping state. I didn’t notice much foul language, if any. Some of the scenes between the Phantom and Christine are a bit sensual, but nothing worse than you see on your average television show. It is pretty violent, so I wouldn’t recommend taking your children to see the movie. There’s a strangling (very graphic) and a sword fighting scene, along with some grisly special effects. All in all, everyone over age 16 or so should enjoy this fabulous movie.
My Ratings: [Average/5]
—Dana, age 19
Positive—This is a great story of good overcoming evil by wonderful acts of love. Christine loving the Phantom by looking past his physical disfigurement and his sins. Raul’s willingness to die to save his wife to be… Christine. Be advised that there are overtones of Satan possession, Satan worship, and a spiritual battle going on within Christine’s mind. Based on this I would advise parents to see the movie first and then decide if it is appropriate for their child. This movie does a much better job of telling the story then the musical does.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Barry, age 41
Positive—The Phantom of the Opera is the beautiful tale of love, music and compassion. Christine, who is young and innocent feels that she loves the mysterious phantom, until she meets with her childhood sweetheart Raoul, who shows her that real love is selfless. The Phantom was cruel and wicked if only to get revenge for the way people in the outside world treated him, but Christine still showed him compassion. The music is wonderful in this movie, everyone did a wonderful job. It is visually stunning, and while the acting was pretty cheesy, the music made up for it 100%.
My Ratings: [Excellent/5]
—Becky Martin, age 19
Positive—One of the pleasures of living in New York for the last twenty years has been the ability to return to see “The Phantom of the Opera” on stage year after year. A musical pilloried by the New York critics (especially the New York Times) and snickered at by Manhattan elites, it continues to pack in the crowds because it has a certain something that cannot be defined, something that goes beyond the stirring music, the mythical romantic story and the exquisite stage sets.

I actually didn’t consciously understand that quality until I recently saw the Joel Schumacher film. The film makes real the everlasting struggle for the human soul. And it is no small battle. It is no accident that the climactic scene takes place in a cemetery with exaggerated Edwardian imagery on the border between heaven and earth. A new era, a new battle, and a new soul. And both sides want that soul.

We know that battles raged in heaven even before man first walked on earth, and that the dark forces rage fiercely when the stakes are high. We see a lot of small fish on the stage and behind the scenes of “Phantom,” but the devil treats them as playthings either discarding them or ignoring them.

He has bigger fish to fry. And the big fish here is Christine. She is Edwardian humanity, its innocence shaking off the dust of Victoriana and entering an age where beauty can flourish openly and freely.

But with that freedom comes choices, and with the dawn of the modern age, using the free will to make those choices is not easy. The dark force will tempt the chooser, and he will be more romantic, more sensual, and more knowing than the force of light. And I agree with the reviewer here—Gerard Butler, though powerful and moving, has a voice that is too often wobbly or distant. Michael Crawford had the perfect tenor voice that floated above the orchestra—it was haunting and heartbreaking at the same time…
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Jim O’Neill, age 51
Positive—As Christians we are the representatives of Christ’s message to a world in need—what we are is what the world believes Christ is. If we are cold, harsh, unforgiving, prejudicial, that’s all the world can rightfully expect there to be. Although this isn’t a religious film, it drives this point home: the Phantom has become a violent, obsessive, murderous figure of mystery, because he has been treated with shame and loathing from the very beginning on account of his facial deformity. His mother was disgusted with him, as a youth he was paraded about like a sideshow freak, and his only comfort and mastery were to be found in literal and figurative darkness.

His obsessive love for Christine, which drives him to murder, is his attempt to reach out for the beauty he never thought he could legitimately possess. His love for her is of a selfish nature, because he has never experienced unselfish love. He didn’t choose to become the evil person he ended up becoming, and on some level knew what he did was wrong and hated himself for it.

I recommend that Christians see this movie and allow themselves to be touched by the character’s plight, then remember that Jesus sought out just such outcasts and turned their lives around. No matter how uncomfortable or disgusted we may be with a person, we still have the responsibility to be the light of the world.
My Ratings: [Good/2]
—Feral Burns, age 22
Positive—As a fan of Broadway musicals, I was excited to see this film. I expected it to be good, but it far surpassed my expectations. The music was awe-inspiring, and the cinematography was absolutely amazing. Gerard Butler did a tremendous job of capturing the essence of the phantom—his love for Christine and his madness.

As far as morality is concerned, the plot itself is not for children (that’s why it’s rated PG-13). There was some violence but it was not excessive and as far as I remember, little to no profanity. There was also no nudity or sex, but there was implied lust from the phantom though Christine resisted his advances. Also, the dedication Raul had for Christine was inspiring. Without lustful ambitions, he was willing to die to save her. Their relationship was pure as far as the movie implied and they were truly dedicated to one another. For younger teens, it might be a little frightening, but I don’t think that would make it objectionable.

Overall, I thought it was fantastic. I would recommend it to everyone—even those who aren’t fond of musicals—because the story is a good one and the movie is definitely a must-see.
My Ratings: [Average/5]
—Kirsten, age 18
Positive—…First, I would send caution regarding prevalent promiscuity. There are many golden statues in the opera house that are nearly nude, and the costumes most often show the upper breasts on the women, though the costumes generally are quite stylish. There is also a scene of back nudity when a man bares his bottom in protest to a certain opera singer. Furthermore, this movie has the potential to be very disturbing to some, especially young people or children, those easily frightened or disturbed by a horror genre, or even those who are not very personally aware of the reality of the struggle between Satan and Christ, evil and good in a real sense. For such people, this movie would likely create unnecessary disturbance.

The grand theme of the movie masterfully engages the audience in a physical portrayal of the true, unseen struggle between good and evil. The Phantom of the opera, a man who lives beneath the opera floor and who wears a mask to cover his distorted face, is introduced as an “angel of music” to the main character Christine who is tutored by him in the ways of music. His increased love for her draws her away from the seeking interest of another lover. As the drama progresses, however, we find that the Phantom’s “music of the night” is a representation of the deceitful lure of evil. The Phantom shows himself to be a man of unrestrained rage, a murderer, and one consumed with lust. Suddenly, a struggle between Christine’s lover—a representation of good who is a type of Christ—and the Phantom—a representation of evil who is a type of Satan—ensues. Caught between is the heart of Christine who is forced to choose between good and evil. The reality of the struggle is breathtaking, and the story is masterfully written.

The music is heavenly. Dialog is often put to song, heightening the mood of the moment and creating a sense of awe. For those who love music, art, architecure, mystery, romance, sword fights, and the representation of the conflict between good and evil, I would highly recommend this movie. But it is not for children. And if you have seen and love the play “Les Miserable,” you will probably love this as well.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Rachel Wesner, age 22
Positive—I absolutely loved this film. Apart from the mooning scene, which really bugged me because it was so unnecessary, I had no problems with it whatsoever. Sure it was sensual, but in a beautiful way. There was nothing overtly sexual, implied desire, yes. Inappropriate, I don’t think so. I did take my daughter, age 8. I saw the Broadway version in NYC a month ago and was totally enthralled. I came home playing the music constantly. My daughter, a music fan, fell in love with the score. She would ask questions about the show, and then begged me to take her to the movie. Her music teacher, a Christian, urged me to take her for the music experience. I read several reviews on-line, and decided it would be ok. I don’t regret this. She knew immediately the mooning scene was inappropriate and thought it was dumb. She didn’t pick up at all on the sensuality, she’s too young. They were just two (three) people in love. Nothing more than that. The violence is no worse than anything they see normally, and we are generally pretty picky. This is the only PG 13 movie she has seen or will see. We don’t see all PG movies. I urged her to close her eyes at the point of the hanging, which she gladly did, she’s not into violence at all. She loved the music, the drama, the excitement of it all.

I thought this was as good, but not a replacement for the stage show. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything, but this explained and filled in a lot of holes. I think the two complement each other very well. My favorite show hands down, Emma as Christine was phenomenal!!! I have the Broadway CD, and I prefer the “movie” Christine to the Broadway version (now the Phantom, Michael Crawford can’t be beat) I loved Emma because she’s so young and innocent, she fit the part so well, and wow what a voice.

I think the decision on whether or not to take your kids is a personal one. You have to know your kids. You have to know what they will take away from a show. There are many things my 6 year old son is not allowed to watch because he is so easily influenced and goes “into character” whenever watching anything. He becomes part of the show, and lives it!!! He’s not seen this movie, but just from listening to us discuss it, and listening to the music (which he enjoys too) he wants to dress up as the Phantom next year! Too funny!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Lori S., age 33
Positive—I went to see this movie on opening day, and I must say it was my favorite movie all year, and I can’t wait to see it again. It is a definite must-see for all fans of musicals and/or operas. As a Christian, I found many parallels to Christ, especially in the way Christine treated the Phantom, with unconditional love and mercy. As she sings to him towards the end, “The distortion I see is not in your face, but in your soul.” Indeed, the movie greatly encourages us to love people, even your enemies, as yourself and maybe by doing so, they can change. Also, there is few objectionable content. There are a few scenes where the Phantom kills people, but it’s bloodless, and there are a few songs that are pretty sexually charged, but no sex or nudity occurs in the film. I recommend this movie to everyone!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
Taran Gingery, age 18

Comments from young people
Positive—I am speechless. This is definitely one of the BEST movies I’ve ever seen. For being a 13 year old girl I’ll put this movie among the ranks of Spiderman2 and above. The acting was wonderful; I felt as if I were apart of the movie. However, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who dosen’t appreciate musical theater because it is mainly singing and dancing. The only objectional things would be a murder and about 2 bad words, but by the time you find them you will be too drawn in to the movie to even see them as wrong. In the movie things aren’t really portrayed as “bad” like the cursing, because the wrongs are usually done by the phantom whom had a distraught past. I am still speechless about this movie, wow, and now want to go see it on Broadway!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—A.I., age 13
Positive—This was an EXCELLENT movie! Although there is definitely some sensual chemistry between the Phantom and Christine and 1 or 2 dances that were somewhat sexual, it was an awesome movie and I really enjoyed it. The Opera was incredible and the acting was spectacular!! Although I wouldn’t advise you to see it if you are not a big singing fan (there is singing in every scene).
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Sarah, age 13
Positive—Wow, this movie was absolutely amazing!! I loved every minute of it. I think it’s best summed up as saying it shows the line between love and obsession, between romance and seduction, and genius and madness. I think it’s important to know the difference. If nothing else the music is amazing, the acting is spectacular, it is well worth your time and money.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Tiffany, age 17
Positive—I really enjoyed this film. It was extremely well made and the acting was very good. I liked the fact that the movie closely followed the plot of the play. The costumes and set were amazing!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Kelsey Capps, age 14
Positive—It was a great film for all ages. It has a great story and beautiful music. You rarely see movies that could entertain both sexes, and all ages, but finally—there is one. I recommend this movie to anyone and everyone hoping to leave the theatre thinking they spent their money wisely!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Micah, age 16
Positive—I thought this film was amazing. The Film production was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to be able to see the Broadway production. Anyone wanting to see a huge production with beautiful costumes and music should go see The Phantom of The Opera. It wasn’t too violent, if you knew what to expect. And nothing was really shocking. It was an amazing movie that everybody should see.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Molly, age 17
Positive—This was an excellent movie! The music was so beautiful, and the special effects, the costumes, the acting, was all wonderful! The language isn’t that offensive. (an occasional d*** word.) The romance between Christine and Roual is very innocent, and sweet. I wouldn’t recomemnd it for younger children, because it might be too scary, and they might not understand it. I would recommend it for children 10 and up.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Angie, age 14
Positive—I really enjoyed this movie. The actors had awesome voices. People keep saying that the Phantom was a disappointment, but I think he fit the character of the Phantom perfectly. There was a lot of cleavage in this movie, but that’s really the only negative thing in the movie. (That and a guy who mooned Carlotta.) Some people might be offended by the violence in the movie, but people have to understand that that’s just part of the story line and the character of the book. (Which I would suggest reading.) Violence is part of the Phantom’s personality because of the way the world treats him.

Another reason why I love this movie is because it shows that you shouldn’t judge someone by their appearance before you get to know them. The Phantom showed so much hatred because that’s all he ever received; people made a freakshow out of him because he was so distorted. My point is, you can have so much hatred for one person just because of the way they look. But, once you break a barrier that has never been broken you realize that that person has feelings and just wants to be loved like everyone else. I feel like the Phantom of the Opera demonstrates this well. I love this movie!!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Briana, age 15
Positive—Wow! very very good movie, it’s just beautiful and appeals to the senses. There’s nothing objectionable that I can see except perhaps a some people being hung (hanged?) but there’s nothing graphic or bloody, no language, except maybe a “damn,” or two. I’ve never seen the musical on stage, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I thought it was fabulous. Recommended for the whole family, though it might be young for the little ones. It also teaches a good lesson that it’s not how you look, but how you ACT that matters, and you might want to discuss this with your kids afterwards incase they didn’t pick up on it.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Kat, age 19
Positive—Beautiful, Spectacular, Absolutely positively breath taking! I might add. What an outstanding performance by all cast members! I Loved every moment of it. Although the movie does have its flaws, the music, the scenery, the jaw dropping stage presence, allows you to forgive the movie of its faults. There are some sexual elements to the film, such as the dire relationship between Christine and the Phantom. He seduces her in a sexual innuendo kind of way. As for any nudity, there are statues of naked women all throughout the theatre, a man’s bare buttocks, and of course the women’s style of dress at the time in era, which showed cleavage. But keep in mind that the tale is about romance, lust, as well as vengeance. Not recommended for all viewers, but all that aside what an amazing movie. The performances were stupendous… Do I smell an Oscar for Emmy Rossum?
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Anne, age 16
Positive—I’ve never seen the play, but I really liked this movie! It was a little creepy for younger kids, and there was a couple sexual references, but they weren’t really very obvious. Christine was very caring about everyone. The Phantom was portrayed as someone who was misunderstood and gave in to madness, but it wasn’t his fault that he had to live in the opera house. It’s a good lesson to learn, not to mistreat someone just because they’re different!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Brittney, age 14
Positive—I thought that The Phantom of the Opera was phenomenal. It had breath taking talent with acting and singing. It was very sad and I was so close to crying. When you see this I guarantee you will want to see it again. It was absolutely positively outstanding! In my opinion, it should get at least five Oscars and probably will get more.
My Ratings: [Excellent/5]
—Nicole, age 11
Positive—The care which Christine showed at the end was very touching and had me crying. Her innocent love for Raoul but fascination for the Phantom were clearly defined and the love for Raoul was praised. One brief view of someone’s bottom, which was not made noticeable in one scene. Altogether a beautiful touching film filled with compassion.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Anon, age 14
Positive—I really really liked this movie. There is just something about it that enthralls you. The music is totally amazing and captivating, and Christine has such a beautiful voice. It is slightly violent and there were sensual undertones, and a few bad words, but I think the rating was appropriate. It was definitely worth my money, and I’d deff. see this one again!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Anon., age 15
Movie Critics
…less a horror film than a haunting tale of obsession, jealousy and unrequited love…
—Bob Smithouser, Plugged In
…inappropriate for children, but this beautiful fantasy will mesmerize teenagers and adults…
—Mary Draughon, Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…lacks both authentic romance and the thrill of memorable spectacle…
—A.O. Scott, New York Times