The Music of the Night
This is a very good take on the classic musical. The effects were beautiful, as were the costumes, dances and songs. Parents should know that the idea of the Phantom himself is rather frightening, though the only surprising things he does is shout at Christine, calling her some names that include "lying Delilah" and "d**n you", and you see his horribly disfigured face when Christine takes his mask off the second time. There are some sword fights and a bit of blood, nothing too graphic, and the Phantom uses his skill with a lasso to strangle several characters to death, dropping one of them onto stage in the middle of a performance. He is a menacing characters, often threatening death. A young child is shown off in a cage and horribly beaten. Bare buttocks are flashed at a woman and there is a lot of cleavage, kissing and many naked statues. Sensual behavior from the Phantom to Christine. Characters include Christine Daae, a lovely soprano who was childhood sweethearts with Raoul, the patron of the opera. After her father died Christine was found by an "angel of music", who taught her to sing and was her constant companion for about a decade, perhaps longer. At the end Christine is faced with a choice between the good man she loves and the maniac who loves her - and has cared for and taught her in her loneliness. Emmy Rossum's voice is not half as good as Sarah Brightman's but she does a decent job. The Phantom of the Opera himself is played by Gerard Butler. While he may not have the perfect opera voice that Michael Crawford does, he brings a raw emotion and a deeper undertone that I found pleasing, especially when his Scottish accent occasionally came through. He hit every note cleanly and in my opinion did a wonderful job in portraying the pitiable maniac. Abused and hated for something he cannot help - his personal appearance - the genius was thrust into hiding as a child and exploited his musical and architectural brains on building an underground kingdom with which to live in darkness so that he would never have to be exposed again. He watches over Christine with not only a loving eye but an ear for her voice. His voice is warm and mesmerizing. Unfortunately his want for Christine as a wife (which is not explained in the film but is very clear in the book - he wanted to marry her so that he could go out into the world without shame, not just lust after her) leads to jealousy and all of his bitterness at the world comes out in murderous rage because he believes Christine hates him because he showed her his face when she asked. My only complaint against Gerard Butler's portrayal of the Phantom is that he is too good looking. The Phantom is described as ugly, and Gerard Butler hardly falls into that category. Raoul is a shallow character but played well. He is a good man but not very understanding of Christine's need and synonymous fear of the Phantom. Overall the voices, with the exception of Gerard Butler and Minnie Driver's Carlotta are not on par with those of the Broadway actors but it is a well done film that is dazzling to watch and can be viewed over and over. It would most likely be easier to understand and sympathize with if you have read the book, however. Still, the Phantom of the Opera remains one of the best beloved musicals of all time and the film does it good justice.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence