Monday, 17 October 2011

The Phantom of the Opera (1962)

After a huge success with Captain Clegg I guess something had to give. Phantom has so much promise but fails to deliver on it. Lets see the trailer.

Lets talk about the good things first. I like good things. The sound design, sets and acting are all (mainly) superb. The movie rockets along at a fair pace and mainly does not lag. You will notice I am using the word mainly a lot…there is a reason.

Phantom is flawed massively, both by bizarre story changes and awful lapses in pacing. The mask reveal is contrived and out of character, the phantom is shown FAR too early and the ending is simply awful.

As far as plot changes go, the Phantom now has a henchman. Added I expect to evoke some sympathy for the monster. This erodes the very conflict inherent in the story that even Lloyd Webber addressed. How do we love the monster if he is hardly a monster at all? In this iteration the Phantom actually is still quite a nice chap and we simply feel sorry for him. He has no reason to give up or hide, he has performed no crimes! vlcsnap-2011-10-16-21h33m23s202

We see no comeuppance for Michael Goughs brilliantly observed “Cad” and we also see no justice for the dwarf. There is no real emotional journey and no real feeling of fulfilment as the story ends.

I mentioned pacing, the film comes to a shuddering halt in the last 10 minutes due to the opera scenes. This totally derails any momentum and is grossly out of place!

This hurts all the more because I see what Phantom COULD have been. Such a shame is wasn’t. Take a look but prepare to say “what a crap ending”.vlcsnap-2011-10-16-21h45m49s234

Paul Out…


Look its The Doctor Open-mouthed smile


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