Film / The Phantom of the Opera

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The Phantom of the Opera is a 2004 British film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical of the same name, which in turn is based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux. It was produced and co-written by Lloyd Webber and directed by Joel Schumacher. It stars Gerard Butler in the title role, Emmy Rossum as Christine Daaé, Patrick Wilson as Raoul, Miranda Richardson as Madame Giry, and Minnie Driver as Carlotta Giudicelli.

Tropes Included

  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Gerard Butler's Phantom in the film version is rather less ugly than his stage counterparts, to the point that film critic Richard Roeper quipped "He's the Fashionably-Scarred Stud of the Opera."
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • It's explained how Madame Giry came to know and unofficially 'work' for the Phantom; when she was a teenager and he was presumably around ten, she helped him to escape from a travelling fair where he was abused and exhibited as a human oddity, and showed him a place to hide in the opera house.
    • Christine's backstory gets a little more development as well, showing how she came to the opera house as a young girl
  • Age Cut: Raoul, Mdme. Giry, and both The Phantom and Christine.
  • Alternate Universe: The film has to be taking place in one of these. In Real Life, Paris in late 1870 was under heavy siege by the Germans, whereas in the film there's nary a hint of the Franco-Prussian War.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Christine and The Phantom's kiss seems to go on for about five minutes. Good thing it's beautiful.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Phantom of the show (possibly) has at least some supernatural abilities, while the film is careful to show its audience how he carries out all his tricks and stunts.
  • Canon Discontinuity: It would be impossible to make a film adaptation of Love Never Dies without breaking continuity with the movie, since it had established that Christine dies in 1918, with the implication that it was because of the flu pandemic.
  • Color Motif: Red in the movie musical symbolizing undying love and all consuming obsession.
  • Cut Song: Parts of the reprise of "Notes" are eliminated.
  • Dark Reprise: "Phantom's Notes II" got really dark when it was combined with "Why So Silent?", where he's threatening everyone with a sword.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • In the musical, Madame Giry tells Raoul what she knows of the Phantom's past, including that he ended up imprisoned in a cage in a traveling fair. The film goes one step further, showing how she rescued him from said sideshow when they were both very young.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Christine's stockings are missing when she wakes up in the Phantom's lair. Continuity error or something more?
    • And it's more like "Did He or Didn't He?"—given Christine's unconscious/entranced state, if they did have sex, this can only be construed as rape. The original script leaves no doubt, as the Phantom is seen getting into bed with the unconscious Christine and the scene fading out as the song ends.
  • Flanderization: The Phantom has always been something of a Tragic Monster and may sometimes even be a sympathetic figure, but the film (to the point of Villain Decay) tend to exaggerate this aspect while simultaneously making everyone else unlikeable and downplaying the fact that, whatever else Erik may be, he is also a deeply disturbed and homicidal person.
    • This has also happened to Carlotta over the years. Originally she was part of a Technician vs. Performer comparison, with Carlotta having a marvelous instrument but no soul in her singing as opposed to the more passionate (if rather more erratic) Christine. Over the years this has been simplified to Carlotta's voice being awful (or at least past its prime), to the point where the Schumacher movie depicts opera staff stuffing cotton in their ears when she prepares to sing (thus leading to Informed Flaw, as Margaret Preece's voice is one of the better ones in the film).
  • Framing Device:The movie goes from present-day to past several times.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Christine is in her opera costume when the Phantom takes her to his lair, but after a cut, we see her in a wedding dress. Presumably, he forced her to change into it.
  • Hall of Mirrors: A straight version of the trope appears in the film, when Raoul follows the Phantom down a trapdoor after "Why so Silent" and finds himself trapped in a mirror maze.
  • Hotter and Sexier: This is largely due to the choice to hire younger, prettier actors than are usually cast in the stage show (Gerard Butler especially). Emmy Rossum being only eighteen to Butler's thirty-five makes "Point of No Return" kind of ...uncomfortable.
  • Insistent Terminology: Gilles André would like to point out that he is in the business of scrap metal, not junk.
  • Large Ham: Minnie Driver's Carlotta steals a lot of her scenes.
  • Manly Tears: Gerard Butler skillfully looks manly whilst simultaneously crying and wearing a frilly shirt.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Averted. The film makes it very clear that all the stunts he pulls are merely clever tricks, leaving the more supernatural stuff out altogether and explaining other things away by showing the Phantom pulling a lever to raise the gates, or messing with Carlotta's throat spray in order to make her croak.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: You have Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson with an American accent, Simon Callow, Ciaran Hinds and Jennifer Ellison with an English accent, Gerard Butler with an English accent though he sometimes has a case of Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping during his singing, making his Scottish accent show off, Minnie Driver with an Italian accent since, after all, she's Carlotta, aaaand... Miranda Richardson with a French accent. The mix of American and English accents could be acceptable since we are after all in France, but the fact that Madame Giry seems to be the only person with a French accent breaks it all.
  • Oedipus Complex: Gerard Butler was deliberately cast to resemble Ramin Karimloo, who played Christine's father, and has played Raoul and the Phantom as well.
  • Playing Gertrude: While the Phantom of the book is at least about fifty, Gerard Butler was famously about 35 when he played the part.
  • Product Placement: The "hero" version of the chandelier was sponsored by Swarovski Crystals. There's a scene with a Swarovski store window, which depicts the Swarovski swan logo. However, the logo at the time would have been a flower.
  • Progressively Prettier: The various movie adaptations provide the image for this trope. Lon Chaney has a freakishly deformed skull-head. Claude Rains has one side of his face badly scarred. Gerard Butler looks like he fell asleep in a tanning booth with the right side of his face up.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: The Phantom smashes several mirrors after Christine leaves him for good.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Emmy Rossum
  • Road Trip Across the Street: The Phantom places Christine on the back of a horse and uses it to carry her the length of a short corridor before abandoning it again.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the movie, when Carlotta is on the verge of walking out (for the first time) and the new managers appeal to Lefevre on how to convince her to remain, his response, right down to tone and inflection, is very familiar from another ALW production: "Grovel--grovel, grovel!"
    • This could be unintentional but behind the conductor during "Think of Me", there's a woman dressed almost exactly like Cinderella in her ballgown.
    • The bit with the horse alludes to a similar scene in the novel and something that was intended for the musical had the mechanics worked.
  • Snow Means Love: As Raoul and Christine embrace on the Opera House Roof, it conveniently starts to snow.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: A dissonance not of mood but of fact: The lyrics of "Masquerade" are all about how colorful the costumes are (almost to the point of Sensory Abuse) but aside from Christine's pink dress and Erik's Red Death costume everyone's wearing black, white, and gold (here's the same segment in the 25th Anniversary concert for comparison).
    • This is the same director who is best known for the campiest and most colorful entries in a franchise that leans toward dark and gritty and he restrains himself at the least appropriate time!
  • Splash of Color: How the film segues from present to past, Christine and the Phantom's costumes in "Masquerade", and in the final scene, when Raoul spots one of the Phantom's trademark red rosses on Christine's grave.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The mob that chases after Erik at the end of the film.
  • Whole Costume Reference:
    • Emmy Rossum's costume in "Think Of Me" is practically an exact copy of that worn by Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sissi) in the famous portrait by Franz Winterhalter, right down to the hairstyle and the diamond stars in it. It doesn't hurt that Rossum is a dead ringer for the empress to begin with.
    • The Phantom's "Red Death" outfit in also appears to have been based on one of Napoleon Bonaparte's uniforms (though with a skull mask and a longer cloak added).
  • Wife Husbandry: Unfortunately this comes across more than a little in the film, where the Phantom watches over Christine from when she arrived at the opera house when she was a very young girl, and makes his move when she's still only sixteen. Plus, she originally thinks her 'Angel of Music' is her father, or at least his ghost. He's basically grooming her.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/ThePhantomOfTheOpera