Joel Schumacher’s Phantom of the Opera: A Video Essay

Joel Schumacher’s Phantom of the Opera: A Video Essay

So, I remember back in 2002 when the Phantom of the Opera movie-musical adaptation was finally getting geared up and Antonio Banderas was in talks to be in the lead. And we were all like, “Noooooooo not Antonio Banderas! That would be the worst thing that could ever happen!” What fools we were. No, today I’m going to talk about the actual “Nooooooooooooo.” And yes, it really is that simple. That there is one single actual “no” and his name is not Antonio Banderas. “Andrew plucked me out of the chorus…” [Laughter] Rarely does good come from a wealthy auteur micromanaging their 30-something-year-old property. “He and his company raised all the money, and this was financed by Andrew and his company. So therefore it was just us.” So instead of licensing the rights of the Phantom of the Opera musical the movie to a studio who would hire some filmmakers that knew what they were doing, market it worth a damn, and give it a big enough budget to where it didn’t look like someone’s flooded unfinished basement- “You did not want a Hollywood studio being able to dictate to you how to make this movie?” [Stuttering] “They were so worried about the music.” Lloyd-Andy kept it in-house and financed it himself. And since it changes so little from its source material, at least on a foundational level, it’s easy to just point the blame at the stage musical, and that it’s not very good, and never was. And the stage musical is flawed, don’t get me wrong, but it works. I mean, there is a reason that the show is still running. So what is it about the movie adaptation that failed to capture the “je ne sais quoi” of the show? Well, don’t you worry, cause I wrote a 10,000 word cliffnotes version of why this movie sucks. Which you are now watching. That is the thing you are now watching. And moreover, I’m just going to focus on the filmmaking. I’m not going to touch on the typical talking points. We know Butler can’t sing. We know Rossum sounds like 80% of the girls in your high school chamber choir. We know that rad electric guitar riff is so lame it actually shoots the moon and goes back to rad. [Rad electric guitar riff] We can talk about the superficial stuff, but that’s not what’s really wrong with this movie. Its foundation is cracked beyond repair; that is the problem. And somebody has to set the record straight, and that someone is gonna be me. It’s not something necessarily to be proud of by the way. Stage musicals have a long, proud history, much longer than film anything. From the 17th century and the rise of the popularity of the opera, all the way back to ancient Greece with the archetypal Greek choir speak/singing along with the players, theatre is thousands of years old and has a different language to the relatively young and fluid film language. There is a lot of overlap, yes. But there are some things that work on stage that fall fantastically flat on film if translated directly. Why Bloom go so far camera right? Film has a lot of tools that theatre lacks by virtue of form and vice versa. The musical was designed for theatre, and when film came along, well, when talkies came along, stewards and concepts that were originally written for theatre were kind of retrofitted to work with this new language of film. You know, stuff like editing, framing, pacing, the lack of an audience to play to. And it’s no coincidence that the rise of the Broadway mega musical in the mid 20th century was more film-like in its story structure than operas had been in the 19th century. “Industry boom in America.” “Twelve in a room in America.” Film trends, theatre trends, these things ebb and flow, but film has trended in a more realistic direction ever since one Michael Crawford-starring musical. “Out there. There’s a world outside of Yonkers.” Hello, Dolly! pretty much single-handedly not only destroyed the big Hollywood movie-musical; it fundamentally changed the types of movie being made. It was such a huge bomb that it basically killed this sort of movie. Which in large part is why you saw so few movie-musicals up until that little boom in the early 2000s. When you did see movie musicals in a post-Hello, Dolly! world, they tended to be more counterculture like Cabaret, Little Shop of Horrors, and Rocky Horror Picture Show. “I see you shiver with antici-…” Other than that, movie musicals were pretty much relegated to into Disney movies and their knockoffs, and even then only for about a decade. Movie musicals are hard enough to make for a mainstream audience, even not taking ever-changing film trends and audience taste into account. But as film was trending more and more gritty and realistic, Broadway musicals were getting… body-er[?] and therefore a harder sell. The post-9/11, hyper-realistic style applied to movie musicals was taken to extreme extreme by Tom Hooper in Le Mis to not so awesome effect. There’s a real cognitive dissonance when aesthetically our movie echoes this, but you know this is what is happening, “Join in the fight that will give you the right to be free.” That works a lot better on stage than on your gritty realistic screen. We kind of take this for granted because we grew up with movie musicals. But the mere concept of a musical is a hard sell, because it rests on the assumption that the audience buys into the idea that a bunch of characters are singing the plot for two or three hours and never go, “Wait, why was everyone singing?” “We’ve just got a song in our hearts!” Sure, we’ll accept that two people in their kitchen on a stage are acting more or less the way people in that situation would act, but when all of a sudden they snap their attention to the middle distance and start seeing their feels, [Musical Music] “Stop that. Stop that! You’re not going into a song while I’m here.” not so much. It begs the question: are musical numbers diegetic or non-diegetic? Well since we’re doing this, and I mean we are doing this, we should probably go ahead and define some stuff. “-pation” ♫ You’ll be a dentist. (You’ll be a dentist.) ♫ ♫ You have a talent for causing things. ♫ BANG! Is the singing in musicals diegetic or non-diegetic ? Well that depends on the musical. But first, let’s take another step back and define diegesis. Diegesis is quite simply all of the elements that exist in the universe. Calling something non-diegetic most commonly refers to the film’s score. A good recent example of fudging with diegesis is The Big Short. “He doesn’t even speak English.” “Actually, my name’s Jung, and I do speak English.” This quote, scenes like this, “These risky mortgages are called subprime.” Ryan gosling breaking the fourth wall, “It’s important to understand, because it’s what allowed a housing crisis to become a nationwide economic disaster.” All of this is non-diegetic; it doesn’t happen in the universe of the story. There are even entire non-diegetic scenes that, while they blend seamlessly with the scene going on in the narrative, don’t take place in the world of the narrative. These non-diegetic elements set up the tone and illustrate the artifice of the culture before the 2008 financial collapse. This stylism treats the audience both like they’re being let in on a secret, and like they’re too stupid to pay attention to complex concepts without some shinies to focus on. Contrast this to something like Good Night, and Good Luck, in which basically everything you see on screen is diegetic. This movie doesn’t even have a score, just a jazz singer who presumably works for the network and is there within the world of the narrative being a jazz singer. The style puts the film in a different time and place. But it also imparts to the audience its realness. That this was a real thing that happened, and it was an important thing. Let the spectacle astound you. Back over here in musical world, both film and onstage, songs are generally considered non-diegetic, more symbolic than literal, with some exceptions like being an in-universe performance, an opera perhaps, or just acknowledged and justified in-universe. “How is it you all know the words? Did you rehearse?” “Yeah, every Thursday. Didn’t you see the flyers? This one is pretty rare. Are musical numbers always non-diegetic in musical movies? That’s a hard no. “You have to understand the way I am, Mien Heir.” Cabaret came out after the crash of the big Hollywood musical, during the grim and cynical 1970s. Cabaret and Phantom of the Opera (the stage musicals) are much more similar than their movie adaptations. Both take place in a performance venue of some sort, some numbers take place on stage in the venue, and some take place within the narrative. But where Cabaret the stage musical, like Phantom of the Opera, includes songs that further the plot, as well as songs that take place on the stage, Cabaret the movie-musical does not. All of the musical numbers are diegetic in order to create a more realistic style. Cabaret changed a lot in adaptation. Chicago the stage musical also has a lot in common with Cabaret and Phantom. But its movie adaptation goes in the complete opposite direction of Cabaret in that all but two of the musical numbers are non-diegetic. They are either fantasies of the characters or completely symbolic. The diegetic narrative proper is pretty conventional if you cut out the musical numbers. Not only are the musical numbers non-diegetic, they are very clearly and distinctly so. And the two musical numbers that do take place in the narrative, the very first and the very last, take place on stage. But in adaptation, Cabaret changed a lot of its story structure and musical numbers. Chicago’s story and structure for the most part stayed intact through adaptation; not much got added not much got cut, the departure from stage play is almost completely stylistic. Where Chicago and Cabaret changed a lot adapting to film, Phantom not so much. It’s basically just a filmed version of the stage musical with a sword fight thrown in. “We we really did approach it as if it was a completely new venture.” “And I think if we hadn’t done that,” [Stammers] “we would have filmed a stage show that I really hope we haven’t done.” Now you may be thinking in a world where more realistic style of filmmaking is in, and dopey, Hello, Dolly-style is out, are you implying that all musicals need to either be like Cabaret or Chicago, as close to realistic as possible, and a clear line delineating what is fantasy? Let’s talk about Moulin Rouge. Moulin Rouge is the odd duck as far as 2000s musicals go, but important to touch on since Phantom of the Opera is trying so desperately to be both Moulin Rouge and Chicago. Which is like trying to combine a glitter-sprinkle cupcake and Filet Mignon. Mmm… Tastes like tonal dissonance. But it makes sense that the Phantom movie adaptation would try to emulate Moulin Rouge in part because, like Phantom, Moulin Rouge is high melodrama. The key difference here is that Moulin Rouge is aware of this and revels in its shamelessness. It embraces the melodrama and weaves musical numbers both in its narrative and on its in-universe stage. But unlike Phantom, it better manages its hyper emotional melodramatic plot by way of stylism. “And in the end should someone die?” The incredible proclamations of love and dramatic death scenes don’t seem out of place or odd or fall flat, because the film is so plastic and dreamlike in every regard, from the color palette, to the staging, to the cinematography. That’s part of what makes Moulin Rouge so brilliant. It imparts to the audience just how out-there the melodrama is through no means but stylism. “There was only one problem. I’d never been in love.” It cops to its own internal logic and thusly enables the audience to go along for its starry-eyed and melodramatic nary a drop of cynicism ride. It is the anti Chicago. So when you compare Phantom of the Opera to these other movies it is trying and failing to capture the magic of, it’s easier to pin down where the stylism tries and fails. Phantom doesn’t commit to the dreamlike stylism of Moulin Rouge or the realism of Chicago and Cabaret. Phantom of the Opera is a movie with no thought-out stylism to back its own internal logic. Rent sucks in a similar way, but sucks less because at least it’s consistent. Jesus fucking Christ, I compared Rent positively to something. But while rent had a really mainstream cookie-cutter vanilla filmmaker, Phantom had Joel Schumacher, who probably should be boring based on his own shortcomings, but for better, or worse has embraced stylism. “Oh no! It’s boiling acid!” Chris Columbus is boring, but competent; Joel Schumacher is neither. I think he’s trying to be restrained, but it ultimately works to the film’s detriment. So point being, if you want your movie musical to work in a post Hello, Dolly world, you need to be creative with your style of filmmaking… which Joel Schumacher is not. He is not that. So if they were really going to get that Oscar-worthy, tightly-knit work of cinema they were apparently going for, they really needed to either change a lot of the source material to work better with the medium of film, or stylize the shit out of what was there. Which was never going to happen, because that’s not what Andrew Lloyd Webber wanted. So after all this talk about like genre and diegesis and stylism, surely we are beginning to wrap this up and get to the point right? No, no, I’m only just getting started So how does one go about attaining this stylism? What tools does one use? Well first let’s get it out of the way and say that Phantom is all over the place, but errs on the side of too conventional for its own good. And this is saying something, because Phantom ’04 is toned-down Schumacher, and easily one of his more competent films. I think the wide derision of Batman and Robin may have humbled him, and Phantom was going to be his serious comeback. So let’s talk about filmmaker intent. Does it matter? Well at the risk of going into like an hour’s long digression about death of the author, I’m gonna go with yes…? Intent does matter, but only insofar that the filmmaker knows A, what she is trying to impart, and B, how best to use her medium the most effectively in order to impart this… thing. Given the tools at the filmmaker’s disposal in any given frame in any given movie, ask yourself, what concept/emotion/plot furtherance/whatever is the filmmaker trying to get across? Do they succeed? And I’m talking through film language, not dialogue or acting. It doesn’t matter from an audience standpoint. It matters that the filmmaker knows the language of the medium that they are working in. A writer needs to know how to use words, and a filmmaker needs to know film language. [Laughing] Where to start? Well, let’s start at the very beginning. I hear it’s a very good place to start. Like with the show, the movie starts with a prologue that happens thirty years in the future. It’s an auction where they’re selling memorabilia from the ruined opera house, and it’s very sedate and boring. When they unveil the chandelier, it turns on a giant fan, blows everyone in the face, and we’re going CGI-back in time to the days of the opera’s grandeur. I feel like if you’ve seen the movie but never seen the show you won’t have been like “what the hell” so much as… “mkay.” I guess at most what we get from this is Christine is dead, and the opera is abandoned. But here’s why it happens in the show: “Gentlemen” [Big Bombastic Overture] Whoever wrote this big bombastic overture, but you can’t just start on it after the lights fall you need some preamble to build it up. So the show has this useless framing device that makes no sense and serves no purpose from a story standpoint, except to show that the opera’s been abandoned for some reason. And we can assume it’s phantom-related. So this scene exists to give the audience something to look at for a few minutes while the last stragglers get to their seats to give Andy’s overture some preamble. It also gives us an excuse to lift up this grand set of the opera in its heyday before the audience’s very eyes during the overture. But the most important element here in the show is the chandelier. “If there was an iconic piece of scenery for Phantom this is it.” The biggest gimmick in the show; they really want you to appreciate that chandelier. So during the overture, the old, run-down set is replaced by the opera’s former-glory set, and the chandelier magically, mystically lifts up over the audience. This sets a tone that borders on magical realism, but is mostly just cool to look at, because it’s a stage show, and the elements are in the same room with you. But the prologue is totally needless from a setup standpoint. The focus on the monkey makes no sense, and yeah that too is in the show. Why would Christine have been nostalgic about the monkey? And why would Raul have given a shit? Who knows, who cares? In a show like Phantom, not everything needs to serve the story. If that were the case, we’d have done away with dance numbers long ago. But since we’re in a movie, and none of that kind of setup matters, why keep all this? Why keep the framing device when you don’t have any cool set pieces you can fly over the audience’s head? And more importantly the framing device serves no purpose in the narrative. But, unlike the show, the framing device doesn’t stop here. Oh, no. The movie feels the need to rationalize the framing device. So it takes this a step further, and we see the framing device dipping in throughout the entire film. Hmm, where have you gotten that idea? “GOOD-BYYYYEEEE!!!!” [Slam] When framing devices work, there’s usually a story going on within the framing device… Or it’s thematic… “Hold it, hold it… What is this? Is this a kissing book?” In The Princess Bride, a grandfather is trying to get his grandson to take a love story seriously, and make him realize that there is some value to it. It creates an intergenerational bond, and shows that this kind of love story has some universality. In Forrest Gump, it illustrates how people are initially dismissive of Forrest, but upon listening to him, find him quite compelling. It also leads up to his reunion with Jenny which actually takes place in the framing device. In Phantom of the Opera, it’s taking a thing that was already pointless in the show, and making it longer, as if making it longer makes it more integral. A framing device works as glue; it holds your story together. Sometimes it gives us perspective, because it’s from a point-of-view character, as was the case again with Moulin Rouge. A part of why the movie is the way it is, is because it’s from Christian’s point of view. The style is how he sees the world. But Raul is so obviously not the point-of-view character. So him remembering a thing that happened is not only needless it just doesn’t work. Nothing in the framing device matters. And the fact that it’s expanded in the movie is admission that the opening is pointless. So they try to make it less pointless by repeatedly cutting back to it throughout the entire movie. But uh, No. Still pointless, just now it’s longer and has more product placement. It also necessitates that the movie doesn’t end when the show ends. The stage musical has a pretty perfect ending. [Big Emotional Singing] Big emotional catharsis, find his mask, and it’s over; good place to end your story But no, the movie keeps going like a long embarrassing fart. I guess they’re trying to show the Phantom’s devotion to her; that he showed up at her grave, but who cares. You’d take a strong ending and you weaken it. The source material is flaaaaaaaawed, but the movie takes what strengths were there in the show and weakens them, either by trying to force the elements into a medium that they were not designed for, “Look, your future bride. Just think of it.” “But why is it secret? What have we to hide?” . Or by doubling down on things that never really worked in the first place. So, how are we going to go about revealing this mysterious Phantom? They talk about him some. They establish that there’s some “mystery ghost” that everyone’s afraid of. Fine. But let’s talk about how he’s visually revealed. We see snippets: a hand, a silhouette, building up to his actual reveal. In the musical we don’t see him until here. And because of the lighting and his costume, we don’t really see him until here. Compare this to the first time we see any of him other than a hand in the movie. Here is that shot. We dive down all the way down to his scalp. And this is the first real glimpse of the phantom. Whose idea was this shot? I demand to know, because it is the worst of all possible shots. Also for the guy who’s obsessed with getting the box with the best acoustics, this makes no logical sense either. “I should watch the performance from my normal seat in box five.” Does he just make them reserve box 5 for him and not use it to be a jerk? Then when he tries to lure her into his incredibly well-lit corridor filled with Jean Cocteau arms (And I’ll get to the jean Cocteau arms.) We can see him completely and utterly so there’s no mystery here. But that’s a minor point compared to the reveal of his actual face. First here where we can clearly see that whatever’s the problem is clearly not that bad. This is followed by an entire movie’s worth of buildup. So when we get to the reveal of his face the camera is so amazed/horrified by it that it goes all Dutch angle on the audience and uh… Mm yeah, that’s it. That’s the great horror we’ve been building to. Hell, maybe that’s why the camera goes all Dutch here It’s like the camera’s going, “LOOK AT THE HORROR!” to compensate for the horror that isn’t there. See this isn’t a stage show. You have a budget, and also post-production exists. You could have done anything, because it’s a movie. Look at Harvey Dent. Wow, did you know you could do this in movies, Joel Schumacher? Even in 2004? When the phantom first takes Christine’s hand and beckons her to follow, she sees this hallway full of Jean Cocteau arms. And this shot… it drives me insane. This is a reference to Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, because Schumacher wants us to know that he’s seen movies too you guys. Which I guess makes sense because Phantom of the Opera is kind of a Beauty and the Beast story, so okay. This is what I mean by this movie being too conventional for its own good, because this is the only such frame we get. And there’s nothing appreciable separating it from the diegesis. I guess this is trying to show just how hypnotizing he is so we get weird, surreal, Jean Cocteau arms, but no more weird surreal shots for the rest of the movie. And we know that Jean Cocteau arms are imaginary, because the movie goes out of its way to show us this two scenes later. And there’s nothing wrong with homage. This wouldn’t be such a problem except that more weird shit keeps happening in the movie, but it appears to be literal. That horse. Is it diegetic, or is it like the Jean Cocteau arms and also imaginary? The horse was real in the book, but we never see the horse again. The worst part’s when they get to the Phantom’s lair, which appears to be lit by a million floodlights and these candles are literally rising out of the literal lake. This does not appear to be imaginary like the Jean Cocteau arms, because the candles remain in place for the rest of the film, cluttering the frame, getting in the way like a million photobombing toddlers. This happens in the movie, because it’s how it happens in the show. Candles literally rising from the floor. But when you see it in the show do you think, “Oh hey, literal candles literally rising from the floor.” No, you’re like, “Oh, this is like a scene transition. I’ve heard about those.” Nope. In the movie it appears to be literal. The Phantom is not only a genius mechanical engineer, but has a lot of spare time. So Phantom of the Opera not only cannot settle on what tone it is going for, the aesthetic proves elusive as well. It’s kind of a mishmash of everything and nothing, and that can’t all be Schumacher’s fault. I don’t get the impression that director of photography John Mathiason is some visionary who is furthering his field. He seems to be only about as good as his director. And he doesn’t seem to have worked with that many good directors. He got an Oscar nomination for this, which to me ranks up there with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on the “are you kidding me” scale, and also for Gladiator which looked a lot better than this… but again, better director. What I’m building up to is that the cinematography is not good. ♫ Turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light. ♫ There sure is a lot of cold, unfeeling light in this scene called “music of the night.” I mean I know you have a billion candles, but come on. The frames tend toward washed out and flat. No variation and very little depth. The classic Schumacher obsession with nipples doesn’t even bother me, the lighting is just washed out and amateurish. But the worst are the sets, which at best look fake, and at worst looked claustrophobic. Like the Phantom’s way over-lit lair, it’s like they shot it while they were waiting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean. Here the frame needs to be filled utterly and completely because crowded equals good. Again this appears similar to Moulin Rouge but Baz Luhrmann’s frame is not distracting with its crowdedness. In Moulin Rouge, the frame draws the eye to where the action is, and moreover there was some diversity. Not all of the frames are so cluttered. Here, there is no focus. Everything is lit to an absurd level of brightness lest we miss one square inch of this amazing set. Point of No Return is even more hilarious because it looks like it’s shot in a Halloween adventure. This scene of that is supposed to be this really intense intimate power play between these two characters, all the while the entire opera looks on in rapt horror, but nah Schumacher is so bored with his own movie, he keeps cutting to tango dancers, which are here now, in between the Phantom and Christine. Yeah you know what Point of No Return was missing? A lot of people in your intimate power-play song. I mean all the cool musicals have tango dancers. See, look, tango! So I guess it’s mandatory, so let’s shove a tango in here despite the fact that Point of No Return is not a tango. There are some decent shots in the movie, sure, but for the most part the operative word is “lazy.” Like the first draft of everything is what they went with. The laziest shot in the movie is probably this one, like… What? What is this shot, director of photography? Like what is the danger here? What exactly is the Phantom threatening to do? Strangle him? Like, dangle his own Phantom weight from that rope until Raul suffocates like a reverse hanging? I mean you can’t very well hang him while he’s tied to that grate [Lindsay stutters] What what are we supposed to be dreading? I have deliberately been tied up in more compromising positions than this. Editing and cinematography ideally should work in tandem, but in general, your editing should match the energy of your scene. The masquerade scene is one of the more bewildering in terms of the edit. For instance the music gets kind of mysterious and danger-y. In the show it’s because Christine keeps thinking she sees the Phantom in the sea of masks. And in the movie it’s because poor people are also having a party downstairs…? This change is so bewildering to me. I can’t even comment on it except to say that I saw Titanic, too, Joel Schumacher. But what does that have to do with the hourlies getting drunk downstairs during the ball mask? Anyway the editing is also strange and not good. It’s trying to create an energy, but there isn’t any. Again, contrast. In a high-energy musical number like this you probably want to stay off your master, but we keep cutting back to that, and also you probably want to put your cuts on the beat to make it feel more energetic, and they tend to opt out of this as well. This happens a lot in this movie. The edits happen at random times that do nothing for the film’s flow, and sometimes we need a cut but we don’t get one. For instance, this shot when the Phantom and Christine touch for the first time. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with it if you watch it with the sound off. But here’s what it is with the sound on. Not on a cut, not on a wide shot, but on this quiet, intimate hand hold. Sure, this shot absolutely could have worked, but not contrasted with the audio bombast. So where your editing should match your energy so it goes with your cinematography, and if you feel like I’m nitpicking… You’re right. I am. In Roger Ebert’s review of Battlefield Earth, he said that the director has learned from better films that directors sometimes tilt their cameras but he has not learned why. This is in reference to the fact that the film is shot almost entirely using Dutch angles but for no particular reason. In Phantom of the Opera we see something similar, but instead of Dutch angles, it’s a long take. And long takes, like Dutch angles, should be employed with care. During Angel of Music, there’s a long shot which is also a long take of Christine and Meg walking down the hall and it’s like a minute long. Worse the fact that it’s long, is the angle is just weird and detached and voyeuristic and it doesn’t fit the tone of the scene at all. We could do with some close-ups. Guys. Even more overt is the note scene, one long take and we’re walking for the entire time really slowly and unnaturally. The note scene also takes place on the foyer of the opera for some reason. Not, you know, the manager’s office, where it would make sense for the managers to find and read their mail, and for people to come and find them, but whatever! Brightly, flatly-lit foyer it is. Because they built this set, and dammit, it has to be used more than one scene. I’m not saying that long takes are bad, but they’re hard to choreograph and easy to f**k up. High-risk high-reward. Alfonso Cuaron loves him some long takes but they’re motivated. This scene in Children of Men is a brilliant use of the long take. The camera is positioned so it feels like you’re in the car, capturing the chaos and making the deaths in the scene feel all the more real. It makes you feel like you’re trapped in the car in real time. This, on the other hand, is a terrible use of your long take. It doesn’t make sense for them to be in the foyer, and how unnaturally slow they’re moving belies out tiny this set is and how unnecessarily long the take is. But my favorite bad long take in this movie is here. Christine and Raul have just proclaimed their love for each other and then they leave. And then we get this pondering long take of Gerard Butler being sad. Oh man, look at how sad he is. We are not gonna cut this scene with anything are we? Give it some… much-needed flow, or… I dunno, a more effective frame? Nope, no, okay. [Lindsay sighs] This shot is 51 seconds long. I point this out because imparting loneliness and isolation using film language is pretty standard, and a 51 second close up is an awkward way to go about it. Wide shots, for instance, good, standard way to go about imparting loneliness. Long shots of characters in empty spaces which help impart the emptiness that they’re feeling. And wouldn’t it have been easy to get a wide shot of him alone on the empty snow on that roof? Yeah maybe the set was too tiny. But despite how enamored they are of long takes, sometimes they skip out on when a long take might have actually benefited the scene. For instance here when it would have served as a good transition. Raul and Christine split, aaand… this is where we’d pan up? We’d pan up and show him look at- NOPE it’s a cut. When in doubt, this movie relies on medium close-ups and close-ups of the actors’ faces, despite the fact that there are many often more effective ways to get across your intended emotion. But the long take, meh, Moulin Rouge didn’t use them and Children of Men wasn’t out yet, so I’m stumped. Most modern filmmakers owe something to Alfred Hitchcock as an influence, and if they’ve read even one book on filmmaking, they’re probably familiar with Hitchcock’s ideas on suspense. “All people are sitting around the table. Suddenly, a bomb goes off, blows the people to smithereens.” “What did the audience have? 10 seconds of shock. Now take the same scene, and tell the audience there’s bomb under that table, and it will go off in five minutes.” “For the whole emotion of the audience is totally different because you’ve given them that information.” “You can only get the suspense element going by giving the audience information.” So yes, this can be a way to create suspense. Give the audience information that the characters do not have. There is a bomb under the table. “What’s the most you ever lost on a coin toss?” “Sir-” “The most you ever lost a coin toss.” There’s the scene in No Country for Old Men that is one of the modern masterpieces of suspense, and yeah, I know, comparing the Cohens to Schumacher is like comparing the finest chocolate torte to a twinkie, but bear with me. No Country is a masterclass in visual storytelling, but also uses basic Hitchcockian suspense-building techniques. “Suspense is essentially an emotional process.” It’s built on the anticipation of… something. In this scene, Anton Chigurh is paying for his gas when the gas station owner starts making small talk, and this angers Chigurh. “What business is it of yours where I’m from… friendo?” From this guy’s point of view, Chigurh is just a difficult customer. But the audience has already seen Chigurh strangle a police officer, and then kill an innocent rando with an airgun to the temple. The guy suspects something but WE know that a wrong outcome means that this guy is going to die. Suspense is much more, well, suspenseful, if it hangs more on what we don’t see rather than what we do. So the scene on the roof. The Phantom has just killed a man, Christine and Raul run up to the roof, and she tells Raul everything that’s happened to her, he gaslights her and tells her it’s not real, but it’s ok, whatever. I’m here, baby. And just at the moment that she starts to feel safe again… “Christine!” “Christine…” “What was that?!” And that’s all we need! Was it in her head? Was he really there? We don’t know! So there’s this underlying threat in the scene. Is he or isn’t he there? In the stage show, we, like Christine, get to a point where we almost forgot that the threat might even be there, because young love. And we don’t even see him until after they leave. And while it might seem blindingly obvious that yes, of course he was there, when you see this live there are always gasps when he pops up over Apollo’s lyre, which the movie does not bother including. Instead, there’s a horse. Anyway, so when does this movie reveal its cards? When do we find out that the Phantom is there eavesdropping? Constantly. In Schumacher world, in order to maintain suspense, we need to keep panning to the bomb, cutting to the bomb, more shots of the danger element equals more suspense. In fact we even see the Phantom when he says “Christine” lest the audience be confused about who that third mysterious male voice could be. And I must assume that suspense is what Schumacher was going for because why else keep cutting to the Phantom during the big romantic musical number? Like yes, there is that underlying threat, but there’s no suspense because we know exactly where he is at all times and he’s like two feet away, and there’s not even anything separating them visually. He’s separated visually in the show. He is both apart from them, isolated, but also above them, dominating. But this would have been an effective use of the space and we can’t have that. Also I’m pretty sure this set is like five square feet, so… Or perhaps you say he was not going for suspense, but that we are supposed to feel sad for the Phantom, well you can’t have it both ways. You can’t have this big epic swell of a romantic ballad intercut with Butler’s quivering lip. Trying to intercut the big romantic ballad with any diametrically-opposed emotion, be it suspense or sad for Phantom, it just doesn’t work. Imagine if during this scene in Moulin Rouge they kept cutting to the Duke being sad. This is just one of so many instances in this movie where the technical choices just completely undermine whatever emotion they’re going for. Let’s go back a scene to ill muto. Half the time he’s just chillin in plain sight, no one in this opera has peripheral vision. Yeah, it might be more suspenseful to, you know, not know exactly what’s going on. “Did I not instruct that box five was to be kept empty?” But no, just, show his every move to the audience. Just show all your cards, movie. Whatever. So we see his every fucking move in this scene, whereas in the show, we don’t see him at all. It was a buildup that was both mysterious and suspenseful. In the show during the ballet we know something might happen, but we don’t know what or when. Unlike in the movie where we see him killing a man the whole time, so we know what’s going on, so there’s no suspense. And this is important in the stage musical because the ballet is almost played as a joke. It just looks like he’s fucking with them until the moment you see a corpse hanging from the rafters, and that’s the moment the audience learns “holy shit, this guy is dangerous!” It raises the stakes. This guy isn’t just fucking with people, he’s a murderer. In the movie the stakes just kind of stay level because we know what he’s up to at all times and there is no suspense. When you take the element of mystery away and see what he’s up to the whole time, it falls flat. But it does make sense for a filmmaker who doesn’t trust his audience to intuit what’s going on. The movie adds a swordfight after which Raul let’s Eric go. Hey Phantom, would this not count as your much-sought-after act of compassion? “The world showed no compassion to me!” Yeah, did right there. Did you did you miss it? “Now let it be war upon you both.” Meh, I guess it only counts if a hot chick does it. There’s also an added scene where Raul gets trapped in the Phantom’s mirror torture chamber. This is an allusion to a similar scene in the book and it was stupid there, too. They also added a scene where Raul falls into another booby trap and then immediately escapes. It is the ultimate scene cul-de-sac. It is stupid and pointless and I hate it. The movie also adds this subtext about like the poor class who work in the opera. It ties in with nothing and goes nowhere. Mostly it’s just an excuse to shit on poor Carlotta. Like, they have nothing to do with Christine, they’re not like rooting for the Phantom or anti-Phantom or whatever. It’s like, guys? She’s prima donna for a reason. Also, why aren’t all of you fired constantly? Joel Schumacher also added a random guy who vogues. Ok. I don’t hate it as much as some people do, but it’s still… why? Okay, there are some things that the movie fixes. In the show, Christine refuses to play the lead in the Phantom’s Don Juan, followed immediately by Raul promising the disaster will be yours. “The disaster will be yours!” We then see her in the very next scene rehearsing, implying that I guess she changed her mind off screen somewhere? The movie cuts this whole thing entirely, which is good. In the show, Christine doesn’t realize that Don Juan is the Phantom during Point of No Return, despite his voice being his distinguishing characteristic. The movie does away with this. The movie gives a backstory to the monkey. It was like his wooby[?] while he was a face-rashed slave in a freak show. So the monkey makes more sense now. This is not the worst movie ever. There are things that work about it. So to give it a fair shake, here are some of those things. Patrick Wilson is one of those things. It’s really easy to make Raul either a total f***boy or really boring, but Patrick Wilson is neither. He’s a good singer, he’s compelling, and he’s sympathetic. He is probably the best Raul in any of the Phantom movie adaptations. Minnie Driver is the best thing about the whole movie, period, as she is arguably the only person in the movie that knows what movie she’s in. She is a joy every time she’s on screen. Where have you gone, Minnie Driver? We miss you. Also, this shot: [prolonged note] [actors pause to take a breath] [note resumes] Hey, a joke that works! Also, an actual good shot! A level shot tilts to a Dutch angle when the Phantom shows up. And not only is he high in the frame, he is to the right – again, implying dominance. Good shot, movie. Of course the cinematographer apparently thought that shot was so nice, we used it twice! Could Schumacher have made a decent Phantom movie if he hadn’t shied away from stylism or maybe been allowed to change some of the source material to work better on film? Eh, probably not. Again, this is probably Schumacher’s most competent movie and it still sucks pretty hard. I don’t think it’s too controversial a statement to say that Schumacher is deeply untalented and he probably should not be a director. “And I have to say this on Andrew’s behalf he doesn’t pretend to know about film.” Maybe he’d make a good script supervisor. Really this movie needed to be ripped violently out of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hand and shoved to a studio with a big budget who would actually change some stuff and make the awards-baity movie that they wanted instead of a no-man’s land of a movie that they got. Musicals are something that your logic doesn’t get, but your emotions do. A good musical bypasses logic. And here in this post-9/11 world of filmmaking where it’s hard to get audiences to suspend disbelief and everything needs to make logical sense, musicals are just a hard sell. Not impossible, but they don’t jive with what’s common, and then you end up with movies like Dreamgirls, Le Mis, and Phantom of the Opera that kind of exists in this Tonal Confusion DMZ. You can’t get an audience to suspend their disbelief for a musical when the framing and the style is constantly reminding them that they need to return to the world of logic. So in conclusion… I forgot what we were talking about.


  1. Katie_pol says:

    I really appreciate the appreciation for Moulin Rouge. I have to say, I claim it as an Aussie movie. And I don’t care what anyone says about it, it’s an Aussie movie to me.

  2. Matthew Barrett says:

    25:21 "I have been deliberately tied up in positions more compromising than this."

  3. Wolf Hreda says:


    Every time.

  4. Shump Daddy says:

    Daredevil season three has a Really good long take

  5. Frederik L. says:

    Yamaha Clavinova in the background, nice. They don't make 'em like this anymore. Does Lindsay actually play the piano?

  6. Cara Eskins says:

    i’m going to grab some alcohol and join you before i watch it on netflix 😘

  7. Wikus Kruger says:

    Loved Phantom of the opera. So far I haven't watched a musical I didn't enjoy.

  8. Sanjana Reddy says:

    "No one in this Opera House has peripheral vision" 😂😂😂

  9. Max says:

    gosh… i fell for you in this video.

  10. R Lykke says:

    I disagree with that Butler can't sing. (He can, obviously he wouldn't have been chosen to perform in this movie if no one could stand his voice.)
    I personally love him as the Phantom, because it makes the Phantom more rough e.g. when he sings "Down Once More" it has so much more emotion than what the Broadway Musical does. The Broadway Musical focuses more on the sound, that it has to sound clean and nice in that way. That doesn't make sense to me seen as the phantom in the scene before has just been betrayed by the woman he loved, of course he is going to sound rough. Love the way Butler was able to give the Phantom more emotion, developed the character from it's original. I feel bad for what movie Phantom has been through, i don't feel the same way about musical Phantom. And i must say it is one of my favorite musicals.

  11. Deaf Shark says:

    Are the musical dance in every bollywood movie non-diegetic?

  12. Mox Avenger says:

    You use a lot of them four dollar werds.

  13. Human Trash says:

    Wait, what am I shivering with?
    Edit: ah

  14. Honoka Killer says:

    I kindna like this movie because her voice soooo amazing

  15. Kids Rutz says:

    Lindsay is super drunk in this

  16. Jessie Upward says:

    I think this movie has a lot of charm. It is what introduced me to phantom and after I aimed to see the stage show in ever city possible. This movie may be flawed but it's full of nostalgia. My sister and I would belt out many a lyric; and even now you'll catch me trying to hit impossibly high notes I'll never be able to reach (at least on key). I think this goes for a lot of movies and film adaptations. Nostalgia and your love for the world the story exists in can make you very forgiving to the film version. Cough Any Harry Potter film directed by David Yates. Don't at me. I love this film and always will no matter how unpopular of an opinion it is!

  17. C.T. Phipps says:

    I cannot tell if you are playing drunk or actually drunk. Congratulations on either Lindsay. Your commitment to this video is impressive either way.

  18. Duncan Urquhart says:

    was falling down good? i can't remember, it's been too long, but apparently it was also a schumaker thing

  19. Edith Waters says:

    Growing up watching musicals I thought it was perfectly acceptable to sing my feelings in real life and I did it a lot to the amusement of my friends. I'm not kidding.

    Also watching this I've realized I've always taken musicals literally but likes their own fantasy genre..I didn't realize that other people didn't see them this way until this video.

  20. Sparky Mularkey says:

    I actually liked this movie, but I love watching these videos.

  21. Michel De Bruyn says:

    After watching this video I'm now really nervous about Cats and Webber's producer credit on it.

  22. Al C says:

    It's not that the movie was bad, it just could've been… so much better, and that's what's frustrating. It was enough— enough to get people into the melodrama, the romance, the whimsy, but it wasn't enough to capture what makes the musical so gOoOod. There were just so many tiny things they could have done differently, and I think that's the problem with movie directors trying to do theater adaptations. There's a language barrier between the stage and screen, and you need somebody in charge who knows how to translate. ALW being a helicopter parent probably didn't help, either. Consultant? Sure. Micromanaging? No.

  23. The Sneezing Picture says:

    So in conclusion:
    I'm losing to a bird!

  24. Samoth Niffrig says:

    Try "19 Crimes" Cabernet Sauvignon

  25. 13realmusic says:

    I'm always curious as to how much drinking actually goes into the making of these videos 😂

  26. Steve Sloan says:

    The Worst of All Possible Shots™

  27. Emir H. Abri says:

    hal prince

  28. isarule says:

    So I waited until I watched Phantom to watch this, which took me a few months. I enjoy the music so much but the first act of the movie genuinely felt like a fever dream to me (the FUCKIN ARMS???) and I didn’t even realize the phantom was the bad guy until toward the end. I also couldn’t tell if Christine was in love with the phantom or if she just felt bad for him. I was genuinely so confused, music still bomb though (except sometimes when the phantom opens his mouth I wanna die)

  29. d Torrey says:

    So I rewatched this in preparation of having to sit through Phantom tonight… Ugh, not looking forward to it. But I'm think that a (let me finish!) Batman & Robin style for this movie would have worked much better. Big sweeping angles, exaggerated Gothic styling. I think it would have worked much better.

  30. Aaron Hollingsworth says:

    Your videoes are as informative as they are delightful. Thank you.

  31. suemi rojas says:

    24:48 That's not tango, it's FLAMENCO. 🙂

  32. travis dunn says:

    Yeah, you're totally right, but I adore the book and the show. Also, I was a little shocked at how meg was so much older, and hot af.

  33. Sofía Jiménez says:

    I find the way the phantom holds the girl by the neck and the waist pretty creepy and kinda nasty. 😐

  34. Esej Snake says:

    25:00 I laughed till I cried.
    "Dangle his own phantom weight"
    29:30 Even better
    37:09 I can't…breathe…

  35. Nonameless says:

    please tell me I'm not the only person who has seen this enough to have it memorized?

  36. gRinchY 230490 says:

    Considering Joel Schumacher made The Lost Boyd years before Phantom, I'd hardly say this is his most competent film.

  37. PunchUp Coin says:

    God daym, what a messed up lady

  38. Ida-Nora Hammar says:

    Comment on the princess bride please!

  39. Michael Erickson says:

    Well done critique on a movie I put on once in a while whilst drunk. Now I'd like to see you do 40 minutes on "There Will Be Blood." Include Daniel Plainview accent and 100% American moustache.

  40. scientious says:

    I agree with you about how truly awful The Phantom of the Opera movie was. I liked Chicago on stage but hated the movie. And for West Side Story the movie, I could see how it would have worked better on stage. August: Osage County was dreadful as a movie but likewise I could see how it worked as a play. I couldn't get into movie versions of Mama Mia or Les Miserables at all. One of the few movie musicals I can recall working was Seven Brides For Seven Brothers versus Paint Your Wagon which I don't think worked at all. One point of disagreement would be No Country For Old Men which seemed almost pointless to me rather than tense or dramatic.

  41. David Rich says:

    I can appreciate that Lindsay is willing to get hammered on camera and still keep going

  42. Man Leeman says:

    lindsay you are super gorgeous.

  43. Hypatia Stanhope says:


  44. Teun de Heer says:

    8:18 Wait! Is that Alan Cumming!?

  45. Teun de Heer says:

    25:22 Woah! Uhm…anything you wanna share with us there, Lindsay? XD

  46. Benjamin Tillema says:


    Oh just you wait, Lindsay.

  47. KoalaMeatPie says:

    20:14 Soooo, Syphilis ?
    29:12 "Fou-ah-Ay"

  48. Done Dennison says:

    I liked this for the antici…. pation pay off. You're awesome in general but that got me^5.

  49. Soulgraven says:

    Dear Lindsay,

    I wholeheartedly disagree with your Phantom of the Opera review.

    The End.

    Thank you.

  50. Andrew Howard says:

    Your videos are f**king savage and I am LIVING for them.

  51. D M says:

    just forget about the movie and listen Nightwish.

  52. Drexdraw says:

    20:18 Why is his hair suddenly blonde instead of black?!

  53. Nate says:

    say what you will, but 11-year-old me LOVED the movie

  54. 1987MartinT says:

    Since you keep bringing up Moulin Rouge are you planning on reviewing it? You know, without Doug?

  55. épinards & caramel says:

    I want to marry that giant wine glass 🍷

  56. Rose cherry says:

    The phantom looks like an emo man in this movie

  57. Eric Hula says:

    I love that you decided to frame this with… I needed to get really drunk to slog through it. Good framing 🙂

  58. Jenni Elina Holopainen says:

    I am starting to really, really like you.

  59. Meg Nog says:

    Phantom is definitely my guilty pleasure film- for several reasons. I was 14 when it came out and was easily entranced and I enjoy the nostalgia for those dreamy times/comfort of childhood home feeling. Gerard Butler is nice on the eyes and for me, honestly, the ears when he speaks because yeah he can't sing but hey, nice deep voice is nice. And Patrick Wilson isn't bad to look at either let's be real. But truly the movie does suck as I've come to realize as I grew up and saw it again and again and noticed the almost constant inability to get the lips to match up with the voice over (seriously surprised you didn't really talk about that but then I guess it's obvious). The real reason the movie entranced me was the music, the magic of it, the drama, the music, again. I've been fortunate enough to see the live show in London and even performed in Japanese in Tokyo (it was awesome and a bit hilarious). Seeing that chandelier go up in the actual theater is a spine-tingling moment that can't be beat in live theater, and with that amazing organ opening. Shivers. So, when I have a really bad flu and need to relax, I put on Phantom, so I guess the movie version is good for that.

  60. Inazarab says:

    I've never liked any of Andrew Lloyd Webbers stuff. I just don't see what other people see in it.

  61. Kathryn Adler says:

    "I've been deliberately tied up in more compromising positions than this" Ummm…Lindsay is there something we need to know?

  62. Laylae Catmom says:

    25:22 mood though

  63. Casper Adam says:

    drew gooden voice nothing in this movie makes sense B)

  64. Casper Adam says:

    i watched this movie as soon as it came to dvd and i was about 5 years old. loved it ever since although now that im older i can appreciate it for how bad and cheesy it is rather than being enamored by it lmao

  65. Djed Vartanes says:

    Do you play the piano, Lindsay?

  66. Michelle Foucault says:

    Emmy has a beautiful voice. Fight Me!

  67. Brian Cole says:

    "At the risk of going into an hours long digestion about death of the author"

    2018 Lindsay: Hold my Funyuns….

  68. neuralmute says:

    "The Phantom of the Drinking Game" was a thing my old roomies and I created to make this movie watchable, and actually hilarious. All those bottles brought back some good old times. To be fair, it works with the 25th Anniversary version with a few tweaks. Like "Drink when Raoul's a clueless douchebag", rather than "Drink when the Phantom goes out of key"…

  69. Simkiim says:

    One of my favourite movies. Fantastic acting and music. Only thing I don't like is Raoul because his book version is much more interesting and active within the story.

  70. Rodra Burruss says:

    I’m convinced Lindsay is the baby of Catherine O’Hara and Kathy Bates.

  71. lindgrenland says:

    Objectively, this is one of the best channels on YewChew


  72. Talia Diaz says:

    I love your videos.

  73. Empress Cosplay says:


    Seriously, I had thought you would leave it at that and that was the most frustrating thing ever.

  74. Jonny Ogg says:


  75. Miguel Chavarin says:

    Andrew Lloyd Webber is a TERRIBLE film composer. His works are filled with plagiarism and he doesn't know a thing about serving a scene's tone. He should really learn from Hans Zimmer.

  76. elhardo says:

    Musicals: A Brief History : 2:34
    Diegesis : 5:55
    Film Language : 13:00
    Framing Device : 14:29
    Reveal : 18:54
    The Jean Cocteau Arms : 20:46
    Seriously What Aesthetic Are They Even Going For I Can't Tell : 22:26
    Suspense : 31:08
    Some Stupid Changes Made for the Movie : 36:58
    Some Changes from the Musical that Actually Improve Things : 38:09
    (Concluding Thoughts : 39:53)

  77. ToxicGinger says:

    Oh… I can't wait to see her video after CATS comes out. Because… there ~has~ to be one.

  78. Ray Raffiki says:

    Cut the long takes, this isn't ER!

  79. Jimmy Nyarlathotep says:

    Dublin Porter- Yeo!

  80. DrakeyC says:

    Okay, a question on the unmasking of the Phantom, I haven't seen the movie so I'm not sure.

    Ignoring the severity of his deformity, you can see that the domino mask doesn't cover the deformed areas of his face, and you can actually see the deformity appear on him when she takes the mask off. I'd chalk it up to special effects being crappy, but his hair color and style also spontaneously change.

    So what's up with that? Is it supposed to be surreal like the glamor has been pulled away and now we see how he really is, or was he wearing a wig all this time and Christine pulled it off with the mask and it's just hard to tell, and the deformity was just bad effects?

  81. Elisa Groli says:

    it's been three years but… can someone explain the joke at 39:36?

  82. C. D. Dailey says:

    Wow, Lindsey. You really know your movies and musicals. I am impressed. I just watched this movie. I wanted to see what all the fuss is about for Phantom of the Opera. You ripped this version apart. When I see it, there are things I like. I like the story and I like the music. It is something that would have been in the stage musical. The movie reminded me of Twilight a whole lot. Twilight was a fad, and it is a guilty pleasure of mine. It is intriguing how a musical with a similar story can be so famous and successful. Of your videos, two of my favorite ones are the one about Twilight and the one about Monster Boyfriend. Phantom of the Opera fits into both. I have a thing for creepy boyfriends.

    So the story is about a beautiful female opera singer named Christine. Then she is whisked away. The Phantom of the Opera takes her beneath the opera house. They go to his dark and creepy home in the basement. Phantom sings beautifully in attempt to woo Christine. I just like the setup. The Phantom is both scary and romantic. I like that kind of thing. In Twilight, there is a vampire, named Edward, who is the love interest. He is beautiful but scary. Twilight is a bizarre mix of horror and romance, and I like that. In a lot of stories the male love interest is some kind of animal or monster. I get into that too. A famous example of that is the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast. Phantom of the Opera also has a love triangle. I thought those things were too cliche, but there is one in there anyway. There is a good looking guy, named Raoul, who also likes Christine. So Phantom and Raoul fight for Christine. They are a choice between the regular boyfriend and the creepy boyfriend. The Disney version of Beauty and the Beast have a similar love triangle. The woman, Belle, has to choose between the Beast and a handsome hunter. Funny enough the guy that wrote the original Phantom of the Opera book is Gaston Leroux. He has the same first name as the hunter. Twilight is perhaps the most notorious example of a love triangle, at least in contemporary stories. It takes another route, which I like better. The lady, Bella, has to chose between two different kinds of creepy monster boyfriends. The two guys are Edward and Jacob. If I had to choose, I would totally pick Jacob. He is a werewolf, and those guys are awesome. Having a creepy boyfriend and a love triangle makes Phantom of the Opera remind me of Twilight. Phantom can be seen as a monster. As monsters go, he is more human. I think that he actually looks very attractive for a monster in this movie. He looks dashing with a mask on. Without the mask, he is disfigured a little, but it is easy to get used to. I thought phantom was supposed to be really scary and ugly.They are really laying down the adaptational attractiveness thick.

    I do like Moulin Rouge as a guilty pleasure. It is nice to see it gain praise in this video. Doug Walker hates this movie. One thing I like about the movie is the character of Christian. I find him very relatable. I relate to him being a writer, and I relate to him falling in love with the star of the show. The tragic end of Moulin Rouge is one of the rare cases where a story made me cry. So it does something right. I like the character of Phantom, because I can relate to him a lot. I am not a monster. However I do have a disibility, which impares social interaction. I feel shunned by others in a way a lot like Phantom. I lack social and practical skills, but I am intellegent and good with art, Phantom is also intellegent and good with the art of singing and songwriting. Phantom obsesses with Christine but doesn't get her in the end. That is like how I feel with my own failed crushes. It is amazing how much I relate to Phantom. The people and the story itself treats him like a bad guy. However for me he is more of a woobie. I feel sorry for the poor guy. Since he doesn't look that bad in this version, I think it makes the other characters look shallow. They only judge people by what is skin deep. They also have beauty standards that are way too high. Raoul is pretty interesting version. He is clearly supposed to be the good looking love interest. Yet this is a rare case where I find a character like this attractive. I have weird standards. Raoul is a long haired pretty boy, so he fits in. I don't relate to this guy as much as Phantom though. My favorite part of Disney's Beauty and the Beast is the end of the movie. The beast, turns back into a human. The human form is really hot. Human Beast is way better looking than most Disney princes in my opinion. Interesting in this Phantom of the Opera movie, Raoul looks a lot like the human Beast.

    At the end of the story, Chritine goes with Raoul. It is supposed to be a happy ending. However I felt sad, because Phantom lost. Poor thing. This does remind me of another story. Hunchback of Notre Dame has something similar. The Hunchback is the creepy monster boyfriend. He is a human with a deformity, but I guess he is close enough. Pheobus is the regular boyfriend. Esmeralda is the woman, who has to choose between them. Frollo gets involved too, but I don't really notice. So he doesn't count. So it think of the situation as a love triangle. It ends badly, really badly. In the original version, Hunchback dies. In the Disney version, he survives but doesn't get the girl. Esmeralda is both female and Romani. That is two things going against her, and she gets so much discrimination. She gets called "g** witch" and it escalates to attempted homicide. Since Esmeralda is treated as an abomination, it can help her relate to the mistreatment that Hunchback has to go through. The two have the potential to really connect. They can find solace in each other in a cruel discriminating world. Unfortunately Hunchback still doesn't get the girl in the end. You did pick the movie apart. I think the movie was alright. I am not an extpert like you. I did notice that the movie was long, but the story wasn't complicated enough to warrant it. I think it would have been better with shorter shots and without the framing device. It can trim down the movie without missing anything important. I think this story could have worked for a two hour movie. However I think lingering on Phantom's heartbreak was a good idea. It can show a closeup of his face or show him in a wide empty shot. I am not a film expert. So I don't know. This does remind me of Hunchback's heartbreak in the Disney movie. Hunchback shows his emotion by crying and ripping apart and ace of hearts card. There is a sad reprise of his songs "I knew I never know that warm and love and glow, though I would wish with all my might. No face as hideous as my face was ever meant for Heaven's light." Poor Hunchback. Poor Phantom.

    I finally watched Shape of Water. It is really wierd, but it is good. I like the way the movie goes with the Beauty and the Beast story. The fish man does get the woman in the end. They have a very touching romance. The woman seems like a mute person at first. Then she is reavealed to be some kind of fish woman, or at least part fish woman. If it is possible to write Phantom of Opera fan fic, I would like to take a similar approach. I can rewrite Phantom so he is not homicidal but otherwise the same. He can go though the same story. However he gets Christina in th end, and they live happily ever after. Then I have an idea to do a crossover. There can be Beast, Phantom and Hunchback together. They form a French monster boyfriend trio. Phantom and Hunchback are even from the same city, Paris. I don't know exactly where in France Beast lives. However I think he can fit in Paris too. Paris is the capital, so there is probably some kind of royalty there. The beast is a prince, so he can be in the royal castle. I did do my on spin on the creepy monster boyfriend. I even drew sketches of the boyfriend's dragon form today. It is developing the character design. So it is fresh in my mind.

  83. Brookell Schott says:

    I watch this movie because I know several people that love Phantom. I am glad my confusion and dislike were justified

  84. Guadalupe Flores says:

    Y’all did my boy Antonio banderas dirty. He’s handsome as fuck, sings in a mysterious amazing way, and it an amazing actor. This breaks my heart

  85. Alexandra S says:

    Phantom of the Opera 2004 is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen.

  86. ana mendez says:

    I love what you did there with " antici…"

  87. Robert Dougherty says:

    I hadn't realized until now that, just like Joel Schumacher, own obsession with nipples has never helped me in my career, either.

  88. Gah says:

    So, question from someone who hasn't seen Chicago: Is a musical number as a fantasy of a character really non-diagetic? Presuming the character actually had that fantasy, it seems to me it would be as diagetic as, say, everything that takes place in Oz in the '39 movie.

  89. Benbob says:

    I can’t tell if she is really drunk or not.

  90. Literary Lady1 says:

    The Rock riffs were grating. It was like the 2010 Rap music in Great Gatsby.

  91. Aaron Dimoff says:

    The thing I've always thought about Phantom, regarding its popularity and longevity. By 20th century standards, ALW is one of the best musical composers we have. By 19th century standards, he would never have been published. The musical is below average at best, but because it was one of the few passable new thing to hit the stage in the latter half of the century, we're left eternally apologizing for what a poorly constructed thing it is.

  92. Kobe Cressey says:

    I think Butler was good in phantom

  93. caesuria says:

    Diegesis is diet Jesus according to the captioning.

  94. Toby Bartels says:

    19:44 : Yes, of course he does! He's pretending to be a ghost. (edit: time stamp)

  95. BINARYGOD says:

    Schumacher is not incompetent. But I suppose if your going for that lazy, "what's the current narrative?" thinking, you can say stuff like that (or claim the stage show of Phantom cannot be all that bad if it ran for that long, while then having a quick sneer at Cats when it was the record holder before Phantom).

    Typical late-20-teens, internet BS.

  96. Jake Caratacus says:

    2004 Phantom is my favourite movie. Maybe it sucks, but it sucks in just the right way as to resonate with me.

  97. Dee Devoleno says:

    Does she like anything? How about a video essay on comparing and Step Brothers and Napoleon Dynamite?

  98. green witch says:

    As someone who’s 19 and got into this musical and musicals over all from the movie i must note that what i got from this is that if you didn’t watch the play first they do succeed with portraying the messages you said the play did. I agree the musical is better but i think the movie is a completely different experience if you watched it first. For example I’m at the part you’re talking about energy during mascaraed and i do feel like i did get energy watching that.

  99. Ian Zainea says:

    The handhold bit I've got to take a beef with. They timed when she grasped his hand with the big musical hit. Because that's when she's "surrendered to the phantom"

  100. Depressed_ Circles says:

    okay also I,,,, i dont understand at all what the opera house layout is. Like the basement was so decorated like why would any real architect make such a complex building

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