return to the point of no return

watching the phantom of the opera again

keep your hands at the level of your eyes
must be something in my head. although i hated the film i couldnt keep away from the music of webber so i coaxed faisal to meet up with me and watch the phantom last saturday. the 2nd time around it wasnt so bad. i got over how bad their singing were and just let the music and the book flow through.

but that still doesnt excuse schumacher. ha!

a lot of things were confirmed from the first time i saw the film, like indeed butler was too young (and apparently a lot of the reviews out on print followed this common perspective). the singers on the film are an acquired taste, and are hard to take in, but perhaps as it goes they grow on you. maybe after the 5th viewing i wouldnt mind much that this version is below standard. i also had an issue with the editing! how the film was cut totally prevented some scenes from soaring into nirvana. like when butler runs and starts singing “you will curse the day you did not do,” on the rooftop, among other things. the cut to the next shot was a bit late, so it stops you from going into a semblance of orgasm. in spite of butler’s singing that would have been a great scene if not for the editing. faisal also was not impressed by the film version, he being another connoisseur of musicals, classical or otherwise.

i forgot to mention in my first review that i was surprised webber acted as producer for this flick (and co-wrote the screenplay with schumacher). am i missing something here? maybe i just didnt get the grandiose setup of phantom of the opera the musical, as how he understood it or saw it in his mind. either that or webber is a lousy filmmaker.

was with astarte lorybeth and ronnie last sunday. the conversation during dinner was peppered with songs from phantom and angst from watching the film. loribeth claims she’d turn a better christine. astarte and i felt that the film could have been better. ronnie commented id enjoy pedro penduko more. and most likely i might.

even the trip to ncca intramuros and eventually malate last night was not saved from lamenting the doomed christine. drei (manofmars) enjoyed the film not as one, but more on its music (or that’s how i got it). his friend cedric also didnt like the film. jm (epikunwari) doesnt have plans to watch it so bully for you.

the second viewing of the phantom of the opera was nevertheless a more enjoyable experience. i was, in a way, over my disappointment and frustration. i came in the theater hoping to have a good time (and knowing that i know what will disappoint me i chose not to be distracted) and i did. funny that nearing the part that christine seeks out his father’s ghost and singing “wishing you were somehow here again,” i began to feel drowsy again. and so i noticed on both occasions when i watched the film i was beginning to doze off at the same part. i thought i was just tired during my first experience with the phantom but to have it happen to me twice!

what kind of dark, voodoo magic is the phantom weaving and casting on his audience?

minnie driver is still funny and miranda richardson demands your utmost respect, i love her cute french accent. the vicomte is still a sissy towards the end (i had the same reaction when i first heard the london cast recording), crying and singing out and being helpless and all.

surprisingly the “point of no return” was a rather powerful scene. i would have enjoyed it the first time if i didnt fall asleep. this time i was battling to keep awake, and i was successful half of the time. there was a particular intensity and a dark undercurrent of sensual power felt in the scene as christine and the phantom were battling their own erotic desires of belonging and submission. and i wished she didnt have to rip off his mask but just let the song go on and on past the point of no return.

in a way i cant hate musicals forever. in fact, there has never been one that i hated. that was why it surprised me why i reacted violently to the film. they still should have gotten actors from the stage. they should have gotten a musical director. wait, i meant a director adept at musicals. they should have gotten a different choreographer (masquerade was crap!). they should have built bigger sets. oh well. you cant have it all. not all can be a moulin rouge. or a west side story. and webber can apparently do a bad version of himself.

and what is it with keeping your hands at the level of your eyes? anybody, enlighten me please 🙂 cuzin ej? dianeski?


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