I happen to love The Phantom of the Opera, the movie based on the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the book by Gaston Leroux. * I often find myself having to argue about why I love this movie. And, really, leaving the awe-inspiring score, amazing acting, superb sets, and dazzling costumes aside, there is a valid reason.
This movie makes you think. You have the Phantom, who is obviously incredibly talented. The only thing holding him back is his appearance. And you have society that has rejected him. The question is this: What made the Phantom corrupt? Was it society? Was it inner torment? Might it have something to do with the fact that he has spent his entire life in the labyrinth under an opera house?!? The Phantom also says that he has never known love. But what about Made Giry? Obviously, she cared enough to save his life and to help provide for him his entire life long.
Then you have Christine and her angelic voice. She’s been manipulated by the Phantom since she was a child, and yet she still manages to find compassion for him. * And yet, she completely loves Raoul. My health teacher would say that the relationship between Christine and the Phantom is infatuation based on passion, while the relationship between Christine and Raoul is mature love based on mutual respect.
I’d agree with the first statement. Infatuation is indeed the way I’d describe Christine and the Phantom. But you really never get to know Raoul. He’s rich, can sing, and cares about Christine. But he also seems so clueless about Christine. Sure, he says all the right things in “All I Ask of You” (favorite song!), but later he forces her to perform in the Phantom’s opera. Can you say stupid?
Ok, so I have a love/hate relationship with this movie. But overall, I do enjoy it. It’s thought-provoking, and yet it’s also a joy to watch. That is why I will continue to watch this movie, in spite of ridicule!
*Side note: I have read the book, and I like it, but in a different way than the movie. The movie is based more around the romantic aspect, the book is more horror-based. Recommended.
*BTW, my sister and I have a running joke about this. Whenever Christine acts sympathetic towards the Phantom, we turn to each other and say, “Stockholm Syndrome!” What else could explain it? Oh, and the part that he is a genius who writes music beyond imagining. And, he’s Gerrard Butler.