WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
The Phantom of the Opera (2004) by Andrew Lloyd Weber (Producer) and Joel Schumacher (Director0
Type: Romance, Thriller
Basic Plot: Christine, a chorus girl, is being obsessively stalked by a mysterious troublemaker that lives under the opera house she works in.
Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: The story was better than others in that it did try to be accurate and that it did have some really good scenes. Things were added to the script that had not been there before, some of which I found funny and added to the story. Others, though, were cheap and did not need to be there. The story went at a good pace and the events of the story were not too fast or too slow.
Acting: 3/5 Average: The acting was mediocre at worst and believable at best. Since I have the stage play and numerous mocking memes, I don’t know if I will ever be able to take this movie as seriously as I should, but I will try. The characters were not bad actors, per say. Though there are several tender and emotional scenes, there is almost real emotion and expression. Another thing I noticed was that the characters seemed to do better when they were talking, not singing. I think part of the reason for this is because the actors did not really know how to sing and act at the same time. The French voice actors had at times more emotional appeal than the English ones did. I think that above all this was the true killer of the movie’s mood, as an emotional story in song is what a musical essentially is.
Costumes and Scenery: 4/5 Well Done: Costumes were beautiful, especially in the song masquerade. Poor and rich shone in this story. My only complaint was that nearly every woman’s outfit and most men’s seemed to be trying to test the bounds of modesty.
Scenery was beautiful. If the creators did anything right, it was in making a beautiful set with some carefully well shot scenes. The beginning was by far my favorite part of the movie, and several special scenes and details are added throughout to add things the stage play couldn’t.
Music: 3½/5 Above Average: Several characters had beautiful voices that brought pleasure to me. The actress in this movie is one of my favorite Christines when it comes to voice (acting is another story). The side characters also had pleasant voices that were entertaining. There was one voice that I did not care for, and that was the Phantom’s. He didn’t necessarily have a bad voice as much as I don’t think his voice fit the role.
Moral: 2½/5 Good and Bad Moral: This story, as with so many others, has both positive and negative aspects to it. It is essentially a story of redeeming love, as Christine’s love prevents the Phantom from doing more harm, but that does not mean it does not have negative undertones. The Phantom was beaten frequently as a child, driving him to murder his abuser and go into hiding until the present day. Elements such as this and his loneliness are used to make him a sympathetic character to the audience. Rather than being repulsed by him, the actress is almost eager to spend her life with him. She does not care that he is a murderous lunatic, or if she does, she does not let it on until he almost kills her fiancé. Then with her love she forgives him and “heals” him. We should always forgive those that wrong us and love him, but I don’t necessarily know if this is the best way to present the moral. It does tend to be more than a little in favor of the Phantom then the stage play was, which showed him a more as a sad, yet in the end still evil character.
Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: Though this is much better than a majority of Phantom movies (most aren’t even rated within the bounds of decency), I will say that it has several weak points such as poor acting and mediocre singing. The effort and potential are there, but the final product was not outstanding. I would recommend the stage play in quality far above the movie. If one wanted to watch it, I believe girls and women ages twelve to adult would enjoy it most, if one only considers quality.
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2½/5 Very Suggestive Content: Some people may feel uncomfortable with the theme of the movie, which is about a masked man stalking a girl he is in love with. Some people especially do not like this version as the girl in this movie looks between seventeen and twenty-one in appearance while the man looks as if he is in his late twenties to his early thirties. A man is briefly seen lifting a woman’s skirt and looking under it. Women wear quite low clothing and clothes that sometimes show shoulders. The outlines of women’s legs are seen through thin skirts. Men go open shirts and shirtless; sometimes with gold over certain private body parts on their chest. Women’s ballet clothing can be quite revealing, showing the stomach and entire thigh. A man moons a woman. There is varying artwork of naked people, showing bottoms, thighs, and bare chest, the first for only men and the last two for both genders. Characters dance sensually grabbing each other and shaking their hips. In an opera, a woman is cheating on her husband with a servant. In the opera, a man aims for a woman’s bottom and accentuates another’s, while a clown attempts to do so and fails. A man says this what “the public loves.” In it, a man suggestively says he wishes he “would gladly take the maid with” him on his business trip. Women are seen being laced in corsets at least twice. A woman begins to unbutton her jacket in a room full of girls and one man; nothing is seen by anybody. A man is in a room with several single women in their night clothes and regular outfits. A man mentions he and his friend were invited to a women’s room; he waves flirtatiously at her. There are kisses between unmarried couples four times, and once between a couple who’s status is not known. A couple is briefly seen making out in a hallway. A man attempts to kiss a woman once. A man takes a necklace from a girl, but the necklace is on an extremely low dress and his hand is basically touching her bare bosom. A man carries a woman to a passed out bed, but they do not do anything together. A man caresses a woman while she is awake and her face once when she is asleep. Men make comments on and give glances to the beauty of women.
The song Music of the Night has suggestive lyrics, but nothing sexual outside of some caressing happens. The lyrics to The Point of No Return are much more suggestive, but nothing sexual accepting caressing happens, as in the above song. The song Don Juan Triumphant has several cloaked references to sex in it. In Prima Donna, two men briefly mention they think that an unmarried couple “slept” together. In one song, a man mentions his disfigurement has kept him from “the joys of the flesh” after a woman asks in song if she will “be prey in his lust for flesh.”
Lyrics to Music of the Night
Lyrics to The Point of No Return
Lyrics to Don Juan Triumphant
Violence: 2½/5 Some Violence: Two men get in a sword fight which results in some blood. A man is hung in the middle of a performance. A man beats a child with a stick and knocks him over with his leg as people throw food at him. A boy chokes a man with a rope. A man passes out from being hit with a stick. A woman slaps a man on the face and another one on the hand. A woman shoves and knocks down other women. A stage curtain is dropped on a woman, who is unharmed. A man’s arm bleeds and leaves blood in the snow.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2½/5 Moderate Swearing: God’s name is taken in vain seven times. Forms of “damn” are misused four times. “Hell” is misused twice. “As God’s my judge” is said once.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Some Disturbing Content: The plot is about a man obsessively stalking a woman he is in love with, though the creepy tones are cooler than some stage plays are. I believe there is crying once, and there are a few emotional scenes. A man’s face is deformed, but this is limited to red, marked skin, not being very disturbing for adults, teenagers, and even some children. Men are hug by a grown man and once a child. The dead men’s faces are shown and once the hanging body. A man is nearly drowned and hung. A chandelier falls and several explosions go off in a building. A man angrily smashes mirrors. A man roughly drags a woman to his house. Furniture is seen burning. There is a brief painting of a woman holding a plate with a man’s head on it. A man describes what he thinks the phantom looks like, with no nose and paper skin. A woman pretends to choke a man. A woman faints onto a man. A woman visits a graveyard, and it mentions her father died years ago. A man goes to his wife’s grave. A man takes out a sword and points and pokes people with it. A man swings a gibbet at a man. A man ropes a woman with a lasso “playfully” and growls at her. Characters worry they will be stalked until they die. In an opera, a man says a man “would die of shock” if he knew his wife was cheating on him. A woman sings that a man will kill people. A sword has a skull decoration on it. Characters repeatedly chant that they will find a murderer. A man asks if a man thought “he would harm” a woman. A man says his face forces him to “wallow in blood.” “Carcass,” “infection,” “mask of death,” “poisons,” and “war” are used for descriptive purposes. A man tells a woman not to “be a martyr.” Tears are mentioned in song.
Religious Issues: 1/5 Some Mention: A key object is sold in lot 666. A woman is called “Goddess of song.” A woman believes her father’s dead spirit from heaven is teaching her how to sing; he isn’t. A man is called a “phantom” and a “ghost,” though he in truth has no supernatural powers. Ghosts in general are mentioned, mainly in reference to the phantom. In an opera, some characters say a woman is “bound for Hades” for cheating on her husband. A woman that is no doubt a fortune teller caresses a crystal ball. A boy is called “The Devil’s Child” in a freak show for being deformed. Characters once worry that the phantom will curse the opera. A man compares his appearance to a “demon” and a “gargoyle who burns in hell.” Ghouls, priest, and satyrs are briefly mentioned once in a song about costumes. A song mentions goblins and if a girl likes them better than other things. A woman calls a man a “fallen idol.” A girl in a song is once called “the sacrificial lamb.” A man says his home is “as deep as hell.”
Magic: ½/5 Brief Mention: A man is called “a magician.” A lasso is called “magical;” it isn’t.
Others: The title song has a rock beat in the background. Characters smoke and drink, one frequent extra particularly seeming to like drinking. Characters dance at a ball and perform ballet. In an opera a girl plays the part of a boy having an affair with a woman. There is a once briefly seen bearded lady, which is really a man in a dress. A woman once dresses in man’s clothes. A man is covered in tattoos. Wine is mentioned in a song once. A man has shoulder length hair.
Overall: I do not recommend Phantom of the Opera because of its sexual content. Almost every outfit is extremely immodest and the song lyrics are quite suggestive. At least onstage, the clothing was partially controlled and their was not near as much nudity in statues and people.