The Phantom of the Opera--My Obsession
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POTO Film Reviews

Here I will post reviews of the numerous POTO films. They will all be written by others, AKA NOT mine.  :) Got a review you'd like me to post? Email me at Phantomandchristinephan@yahoo.com (subjected "Film Review") and include your name. I will only post one review per film for now. This may change eventually, so stay tuned!

Dario Arggento's Phantom of the Opera
**Review by Claudia; found on phantomoftheopera.com
Post has been reproduced in its' entireity(sp?)
 
So, I was running around Denmark, Copenhagen, like a headless chicken the other day. Brief visit, then had to rush back to le Svede. My friend and I were to meet up, and I forgot the address of the Café.

I FINALLY find it, after awkward stares as I pant breathlessly at strangers asking for directions, and my friend can't stop laughing at me.
I forgave him because
A.) I was the late one.
B.) HE BOUGHT ME DARIO ARGENTO'S VERSION OF THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (should be the "Opera Rodent")

Anyway, I know this version is not liked much... At all.
However, I am a Julian Sands fan, and I was quite happy and excited when he gifted me with it. (Bought him a beautiful watch, but sure. Buy me an old DVD)

This is my personal opinion of the movie. I didn't /not/ like it. But I wasn't all "OMG, this is like the BEST movie of all time" - I found it interesting to watch.

The beginning - I was in tears of laughter. Then again, absynthe is legal to buy in Denmark, and I had bought a load, then slapped myself down to watch this. (However, watching a movie while *tipsy* can help your impression of it). Rats saving a baby? Then some paper maché hand, supposed to represent a baby's hand, stroking the rats whiskers. My sides ached from the first few minutes of the film.

Some of the not-so-experienced actors with heavy Italian accents really irritated me. "Speak normally" would flow through my mind. But they served minor roles.

I loved Carlotta. I thought she was beautiful. And the fake mole, priceless.

The "intimate" scenes, well, can't say I /didn't/ like them. I did. Even a bit turned-on. Shame on me, I know. Asia Argento, blah. She's a very strong-featured, attractive woman. I had seen her in one other movie, which I didn't like. But in this one, she blew me away. Her accent while yelling irked me a bit.

Julian Sands was wonderful, as always. But the line when he says "I am not a Phantom - I am a rat" I had to pause the movie because I was missing everything that was going on. I was sobbing because I was laughing so hard.

Even now I'm giggling at the memory.

I loved the ending. I truly did. The way her ring into his "realm" slipped off her finger, into the lake with him, actually moved me in my drunken state. I even cried a bit. Or it was the unshed tears from laughing.

What I don't understand is why the front cover beholds a Mask, when clearly Julian Sand's character as the "Phantom-esque rat" doesn't need a mask for no disfigurement is shown.

And what also made me wonder, is why does the mother have to abandon the baby at birth, since he seemed healthy enough? Economy? Dunno.

Plot summary: Christine Daae (Asia Argento) is Carlotta's understudy. One night she sings alone (or -thinks- she does) on the stage. She wanders back to her dressing room, and the Phantom (Ratty Julian Sands) approaches her, and tells her how "uneasily surprised he is, bla bla your voice is nice, bla bla" - and they share a "moment" and then she finds out that they can talk to each other through telepathy. Oooo
Time goes by, Christine is basically bullied by Carlotta, Raoul comes along sending her roses, and emotional letters. The Opera manager is replaced, then dies of a heart-attack. The main rat exterminator has his thumb gnawed, and "'ou kan cee de bone!" and some newspaper is interested in the "odd" news that seem to be bleeding from the Opera.
Oh, there are also pedophiles, trying to lure little ballerina's with Swiss chocolates.
Christine and the Phantom meet up, once. And as they depart, the Phantom is followed by some young lad that works there. He marks the catacombs so he can get back. Then the young lad and some slutty cleaner go down there, thinking they'll find a treasure. When all they find is their "doooom".
Carlotta "loses" her voice temporarily, and Christine gets le spotlight. "AaAaAaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"
Sing, sing, sing. She sings too much, and faints during a rehersal. Raoul worries, and rushes to her dressing room, where he hears the voice of ANOTHER MAN! (or, rat!) then that mini snippet from the book "I sang -something-, and gave you my soul -or.. something-"
Raoul gets depressed, and his brother takes him to some Spa where all the rich people are fat and naked.
Really, really fat and naked.
And naked.

He smokes some pipe, and starts seeing one of the sluts as Christine, and he goes all school-boy shy. Aww. He then realizes it isn't her, and topples over tables, causing hysterics. "HE DROPPED A PLATE!"
Christine hears the Phantom, goes through the catacombs. Arrives at le lake, and rows herself to him. He makes her sing for a bit, then they... entwine. After that steamy moment, he gives her a ring which is like a "Key" to his kingdom. She accepts, and they go back to steamy moments.
In the morning, she plays the organ, and as he is about to leave, she goes all "I'm in charge" - "No, I AM!" then you see the Phantom's rage. Intense moment.
Stuff happens. He threatens Carlotta, says Christine should have the part.
The threat goes something like: "If you like these big breasts, you will not sing..." can't quote exactly 'cause I can't remember.
Carlotta sings anyway, Chandelier falls as he smashes a pillar?
The rat exterminator makes some "rat catching" machine, but it breaks and his partner dies in the catacombs, and he passes out. Then wakes up later, covered in dirt and blood. (He was mainly covered in dirt to begin with)
Phantom goes back to Christine, and despite her little resistance, she SOMEHOW falls into his arms again, and those are not moans of pleasure. No, never.
Rat exterminater peeks through a crack, and SEES IT ALL!
After she wakes up, she walks around his lair, and finds him covering himself with rats. Mmm, ratty.
She freaks out, and flees!

Something happens, something else happens.

She gets the part of singing Juliet. Does. Then the rat-exterminator stumbles into the stage, and points at her saying she's the phantoms mistress. Christine has the reaction any of us would have. She faints just as the Phantom flies down from nowhere. Batman! Or, Flying Rat Man! Anyway,
He carries her off. Walks for a bit, followed by the manager who claims "He stole my singer! get her back" in a very unconvincing tone.
The Phantom puts Christine down on some stone slab, and casts his gaze over her body, growling "Mine, MINE!" - Think... Gollum.
Christine wakes up, he talks about how they will live forever in his world of darkness, she grabs a stone and hits his head. Then screams "Raoul, raoul!"
Raoul, somewhat nearby, hears these cries. And after the seventh cry, he seems to realize "Oh, what a coinsidence. My name is Raoul too!" - then after three more cries "OH! It's Christine!" and he finally moves his ass.
When Christine sees the damage she's done with her powerful stone, she mumbles many apologiez, and "my love" and the run off.
Running, running, running.

They reach some area near the lake, and in the Catacombs Raoul grabbed, yes, a rifle. Raoul shoots the Phantom, and Christine cries, and cries some more.
The Phantom asks Raoul to take Christine away from there, as fast as possible. He does, Raoul and Christine get on the boat, Christine sobbing madly "Nooo! Don't leave me! Nooo, my love!". The Phantom and Christine part. Raoul rows like a british 12-year-old boy.
Then a bunch of people with Rifle's arrive, start shooting at the phantom, some sink knives into him, he doesn't die.
Christine is slowly floating away on the boat, watching as her lover is being killed.
He stands proudly by the egde of the mini bridge, and screams "CHRISTINE!" Then one rifle-man sticks the sharp point of the rifle into his back. He then falls into the lake, with a soft splash, and sinks slowly. You then see the ring he had given her, slip off her finger and plop into the water.
The last thing you hear before the Credit music is the echo of "CHRISTINE" and Christine sobbing "My love..." I cried. I must admit.

Aaand, now. My brief summary isn't the best, and I may have forgotten some points, which I'll amend later. XD

Mmkay. I liked the movie. But I had set aside the fact that I'd read Leroux's book, and seen POTO 04. I simply saw it as one mans interpretation of Leroux's novel.

From 1 - 5 I'd give give it a 3 and a half. Maybe a 4.

For those who have seen it, and read this far as to what I've had to say about it, do you agree? Disagree? Not get what I said?
And what are your interpretations of this movie?

Dario Argento's Phantom of the Opera 1999.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v201/boygrinderx/argento.jpg
Me, excited by the marvelous gift. ^_^

Ah well, this topic is long enough.
Claudia
 
**Many thanks to Claudia for allowing me to use this!

~This is just a fan site, and is not associated in any way with ALW or Really Useful companies. It's just my way of saying thanks to them!~