Wednesday, January 19, 2005

phantom of the cinema

We saw the Phantom of the Opera film last night. The fact that Dan slept through almost all of it is a good indication of what he thought!

I have to admit I wasn't convinced. It's too similar to the stage show and yet not similar enough. I maintain that if you're going to produce a cover of something you've got to either make an exact replica or do something different enough with it that it can stand next to the original as a work in its own right. This film nestled all too comfortably in between.

The stage show of the Phantom has some of the most amazing special effects I've seen in a theatre, all thanks to Paul Daniels involvement all those years ago. Unfortunately, they've just used the same effects in the film version and it just doesn't cut it.

Emmy Rossum pulls off a convincing imitation of Sarah Brightman's original Christine Daae, with plenty of wide eyed staring, walking just that little bit too slowly across the entire screen and not really moving her lips enough to actually form words. Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against her - I'm sure she did exactly what she was directed to do.

If Minnie Driver actually sang all that operatic soprano that it appears she did (and there's nothing in the credits to suggest otherwise) then she's got a storming voice which she's kept well hidden, even since she released that single.

Another thing that bothered us was the synchronisation between film and soundtrack. Or maybe the lack of it. It was just slightly weird - enough that you noticed every time someone sang that they were miming. Sure, they were miming to their own singing that they'd already recorded but even so, it was unconvincing and offputting.

All in all it was "alright" Nothing special, nothing new and a few disappointments along the way. If you want to see the Phantom of the Opera, spend a few quid more and see the stage show. It's the same but... err... better.


Sometimes I do go on...