Adam Driver picture image

Adam Driver

Frollo is an interesting character to cast because on the one hand we have the book which tells us that Frollo is 36. But the age of 36 is different in a modern setting  than it was in 1482 when the story is set or even in 1831 even the book was written. The book even tells us Frollo is in middle age or the winter of this life.  So most of the movie go for an older Frollo. Sometimes it a tad younger or sometime he looks like death, looking at you 1997 Richard Harris Frollo. But can we have both? Can we have a younger-ish Frollo who is believable at acting older or in someway austere and cold but passionate at the same time? Can we have a walking contradiction?

 

Yes! We can! And it’s Adam Driver!

 

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Star Wars The Force Awakens picture image

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Star Wars The Force Awakens

Driver is best known for playing Kylo Ren in the Sequel trilogy of Star Wars. He is a compelling character even if you don’t like that thing he did in The Force Awakens. Driver is just a very phenomenal actor who bring his A-game to every role and he has already played a priest in Silence, a very different story and character than Frollo. There is no doubt that Driver could excel at playing Frollo.

 

Adam Driver picture image

Adam Driver

Driver would be a young Frollo  but he does have a good look for the character already. He’s not a typically attractive, some people find him very attractive and some don’t see it at all.  He’s tall which helps, he has a narrow face with good angles, the perfect recipe for a Frollo.

 

Adam Driver picture image

Adam Driver

 

If this casting happen, I for one would be ecstatic, it just seems like a GREAT fit. What do you think? Would Adam Driver make a good Frollo?  Or no?

OT – I admit, I ship Reylo   

Mads Mikkelsen picture image

Mads Mikkelsen

This suggestion is off a list from http://fuckyeahnotredamedeparis.tumblr.com as part of an ideal casting. Also since it’s Star Wars season I though picking Star War alunms would fun so Mads Mikkelsen it is.

 

Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso in Rogue one picture image

Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso in Rogue one

Mikkelsen play Galen Erso in the 2016 Rogue one or Rouge one  if you’re dyslexic like me. He also had very long career playing different types of Character from Hannibal Lector to Kaecilius in Doctor Strange  to  playing opposite Alicia Vikander in A Royal Affair. Vikander was also the topic of a Hypothetical casting post for Esmeralda.

 

Mads Mikkelsen as Lucas in The Hunt picture image

Mads Mikkelsen as Lucas in The Hunt

I will confess, Mikkelsen would not a my first pick to play Frollo but upon looking more in his acting and considering his look, I can see this a good option. First he a good actor with a good range. It’s hard to really pinpoint how he would approach the character but pending on the film direction for Frollo, I would say he could pull it off effectively.  

 

Mads Mikkelsen picture image

Mads Mikkelsen

  

Mikkelsen also has very interesting facial features that could lead themselves to a really good and memorable look for Frollo with the right make-up direction.  He just the kind of actor who can skew more attractive to more weird looking, I don’t mean that in a bad way.

 

Mads Mikkelsen picture image

Mads Mikkelsen

Mads Mikkelsen would not be my first choice to play Frollo but if he was cast I would not complain. It would be interesting to see what how he would portale the character. What do you think Mads Mikkelsen for Frollo? Yay? Or Nay?

Also leading up to The Last Jedi and maybe after I’m going to more hypothetical casting using Star Wars actors so if you got a suggestion leave a comment.  Also any anti-suggestions are welcome,  like Jar Jar Binks as Frollo or Gringoire or Phoebus, maybe Esmeralda.

 

 Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo

It’s a little tricky to really formulate an opinion of the 1977 version of Frollo. On the one hand, this is one of the most accurate versions of the characters. He’s a priest, he does practice alchemy, he expressives desire for Esmeralda. However one major fault with the character is just in the way the movie is shot and how it counters  Frollo’s character.

 Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo

Let’s be clear, Kenneth Haigh does fine with the material and direction he was given.  Frollo is not  easy role to play since it’s all very internal. You either need to allow for the director to get facial shots or you could run the risk of over acting.  

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Trouble with the 1977 version and with MANY versions is that it’s shot as purely representational, it’s a period piece and the filmmakers don’t add any artistic shots, angles or lighting to hint at the characters’ internal struggles thus relying solely of dialogue and expressions. And at most with Frollo the character’s austerity doesn’t allow for many chances for the desirous or conflicted expressions to be showcase. Not saying they are not there even in this version, they are but they are downplayed. The most Frollo gets is yelling about his desire, closing his eyes and the red door scene. He does do his crazy laugh but even that seemed to be tame and awkward. He does not seem like a man insane with lust.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo’s character almost exists more in musicals. The best showcases of Frollo’s character are Disney’s Hellfire and Notre Dame de Paris’ Tu vas me Detruire. As both pieces use song, a nice substitute for dialogue, expressions/body language and visuals to give insight to the character. Hellfire uses fire and hellish imagery to get the point across whereas Tu vas me Detruire has stone pillars or  the church literally trying to crush Frollo.

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo performing Tu vas me Detruire Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo performing Tu vas me Detruire

You can interpret this as  his desires will crush  him or that the church is trying to stop his desires and he the one pushing them away choosing to give in to his lust for Esmeralda thus choosing to be destroyed.

Example of Chiaroscuro Frollo (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Frollo, 1939

The only non-musical movie version to actually give some thought to visual representation of Frollo’s desire  is the 1939 movie. In that version when Frollo backs Esmeralda against a tree to confess, there are some great shadows, with only his eyes illuminated which makes him look insane as the actor, Cedric Hardwicke, keeps them opened very wide.        

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Kenneth Haigh as Frollo The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Kenneth Haigh as Frollo

With respect to the 1977 version it is one of the few versions to get Frollo’s scenes down. One example is when Frollo and Gringoire spirit Esmeralda out and Gringoire leaves her with Frollo. Though the scene is vastly shorter than in the book I appreciate that they at least made a go at having that scene in the movie.  But that being said is having all the scenes in movie presents in the movie but shot is a plain efficient manner somehow better than approaching the material in way that makes it visually interesting? I would say no. This is a good effort at the character and his scene but it’s just a dull rendition.

Or at least as the Kremlin performance depicts it.

Frollo and Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Frollo & Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Pretty much all the major, overall story beats are hit in this version and this an approximation of the plot, it’s possible things are misconstrued . First we have Phoebus and Fleur-de Lys getting engaged. Fleur de Lys gives him a scarf.   The the court of miracle dance along with Gringoire and Esmeralda. Frollo scares her. Quasimodo stops Frollo from scaring her too. Frollo is torment by his lust for the young dancer. Gringoire follows Esmeralda to the Court  of Miracle where he is nearly killed but Esmeralda marries him to save his life. She also rejects his romantic advances.

Esmeralda begging Phoebus o spare Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda begging Phoebus o spare Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Frollo and Quasimodo are out roaming the streets when Esmeralda just so happens to be wandering by. Frollo has Quasimodo try to kidnap her but Phoebus and the guard show up. Esmeralda and Phoebus fall in love and he gives her the scarf that Fleur de Lys gave him. As the guards are about to take Quasimodo away, Esmeralda beg mercy for him and Phoebus lets Quasimodo go. Quasimodo then falls in love with Esmeralda.

Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Esmeralda return to her dwelling happy about meeting Phoebus. As she trying to fall asleep Gringoire tries again with the romance, I really hope he wasn’t trying to force himself on her. Esmeralda rebuffs and pulls out her dagger. She basically tells him no and if he acts up he’ll be hanged. So friends they shall be, or maybe co-workers.

Frollo and Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Frollo & Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Esmeralda tries to go to sleep but Frollo enters her dwelling. Frollo tries to win her over with forces, not really sure what he was doing but Quasimodo helps Esmeralda escape and Frollo takes her dagger.

Esmeralda & Fleur de Lys, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Fleur de Lys, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

The there is a party at Fleur de Lys’. Esmeralda and Gringoire perform but when Esmeralda sees Phoebus with another woman she became distraught. Fleur de Lys becomes enraged when she sees Esmeralda wearing Phoebus’ scarf.

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Then the Feast of Fool happens and Quasimodo is crowned Pope of Fools. Frollo is displeased and Quasimodo is sad. Phoebus and Esmeralda meet in a bar for some romance. Frollo follows them and plays the owner to let him hide in the room where they will be. Before Phoebus and Esmeralda can consummates their love  Frollo bursts in stabs Phoebus. Quasimodo shows up and tries to help but Esmeralda is arrested.

Frollo and Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Frollo & Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Esmeralda is arrested and Frollo tries to get her out but she rejected him. Fleur de Lys i having a party again. Things are going when Phoebus enters and beg Fleur de Lys to forgive him.

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Esmeralda is about to executed when Quasimodo saves her. They bond but Frollo bursts in and arrests Esmeralda.  Before Esmeralda is executed Fleur de Lys and Phoebus get married.

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Frollo and Quasimodo have a fight and Quasimodo throws Frollo off the cathedral and the scarf falls too. Quasimodo lays down beside Esmeralda to die as the scarf falls on them.

Esmeralda Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda

I feel like I’m in some weird ring of hell. A Ring of Hell where my sole torture is rewatching this version of Hunchback. I can’t tell you in how many ways I just loathe this version and it’s not even in a logical, it’s visceral, it strikes me down to my core. I hate everything about this version and it hurts my soul in so many ways that I’m not sure I can quantify anymore why it’s a puke stain on the already dirty carpet of Hunchback version aimed at children. I think the main reason I can’t articulate why it’s terrible is because it has the same problems as every other  Disney knock-off versions, at this point it’s a case of “second verse same of the first.”  Everything is just the worst but you came here to read something that in some way resembles a review or you just click on a picture or you’re lost and have already clicked away but whatever the case the subject line has spoken and it’s not even trying to be clickbait so let’s get this over with.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo, Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame 1996 picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo,

As is standard with these knock-off Disney direct to video movies the animation super low budget. The use of repeat animation for extras to pad out the run time is beyond annoying and I might not have minded it so much if the movie didn’t start that way. It takes nearly three minutes to get to Esmeralda awkwardly dancing about, three minutes of just nothing but random town’s people laughing and clapping on repeat.  In addition to animation being stilled, awkward and mostly on repeat  most of the shots are at flat angles.  There is nothing interesting or memorable about the way the shots are composed to even hold a remote sense of attention.

 

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

But again I’m not done, though I wish I was, this will never end. There is the color design of this thing. If you think I was joking about calling this movie being like puke you were wrong. The color this movie most likes to use is a weird dark yellow color that resembles vomit. They also use a  green that looks like another shade of puke. I’m not kidding this movie has an ugly and all-round unpleasant color palette. If they were trying I guess they were trying to make it warm but they failed, they failed hard.

Esmeralda meets Phoebus Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda meets Phoebus

Then there is the character design. Can you believe I didn’t really touch in the character designs yet? Both Phoebus and Esmeralda are drawn to be the prettiest that the shitty animation will allow. This of course gives them no visual interest so being “beautiful” by this movie’s standard is a mute point. Though the best line in this movie is Frollo describing Esmeralda’s eyes as “shining brighter than the most beautiful stars in the night sky.”  Too bad they don’t.

Quasimodo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo with his doves

Quasimodo is your typical cute, nice, deformed design that you see over and over again. He is very bulbous and round making him “cute.” Which is like standard in character design round is good and angles are bad.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

Speaking of angles there is Frollo. And he is yet another case of “second verse same as the first. Agian he looks like a mix of Disney Gaston and Jafar. Why? Who are they even coping at this point? This  is like the third Frollo to look like this? He doesn’t look like either Disney Frollo or the 1939 version.  Is this a case of parallel thought between three stupid Disney Knock-off versions, where they combined  two popular Disney villains or did this version copy Secret of the Hunchback of Enchanted Tales? Both options scream laziness.  Though to be fair this version did take Frollo’s design beyond merely combining Gaston and Jafar and instead cross that combination with a fish.   

             

Esmeralda Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda

This version is just entirely forgettable with its abysmal animation, boring flat angles, cringe-inducing color palette and lazy character design.  The only thing I can recall about this movie is how forgettable this version is and that is why I have to rewatch it thus prolonging the torture of the ring of hell I now occupy.

Instead of just discussing the way Other Burbank decided to depict the Hunchback characters against the book, we’re going to look at them against the 1939 version since this version blatantly ripped off that version. Is that fair? Who cares they brought  it on themselves.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

Just to recap, Frollo in the 1939 version was the King’s High Justice who held himself to a godly standard, hated Gypsy and ignorant, like the Earth being round. He also conducted himself with elegance and grace. This grace and elegance were in line with him wanting to stay in control of his crazy emotions with regards to Esmeralda which of course he didn’t do.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

Frollo in this Burbank version is also the King’s High Justice and he also ignorant but that pretty much end the comparison. It is pare for the course for Frollo to have Esmeralda arouse his emotions so it’s not a major accomplishment that this version has the plot.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

He also were red agin like the first Burbank version (Australia doesn’t like black?) and he looks likes Disney’s Jafar and Gargamel’s love child. He was raised to want power and Smurf Berries.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

Frollo just comes off cranky, dour and unpleasant. He doesn’t express any pathos or darkness an therefore he boring, very boring, like ambien, he curse insomnia if can stand to watch this for 40 minutes or if your brain doesn’t implode.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

Frollo in this version seems like a bargain-bin Saturday morning cartoon version. Wait, actually that would be a step up since this a straight to video  preemptive Disney Knock-off which is as low as you can go in the totem pole. The sad truth is Frollo is probably the closet to the 1939 version characterization.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

If you didn’t figure it out, the other Burbank version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame followed the plot of the 1939 version in a rough and unapologetic manner. This is technically the first version to be based off of the 1939 version since the 1997 version came out later but the 1997 version did take the basic plot of the 1939 version and add other elements  like Quasimodo liking books. What did this version do to distinguish itself? Well, Quasimodo has doves and Frollo has a literal birth mark of evil. That is the only thing that is original to this version from the 1939 version never mind the book, there is no point discussing the book against this version.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo, Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame 1996 picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo

Perhaps it’s unfair to say that this version should have add something to the basic plot of the 1939 version, after all this is a streamline version of Hunchback for kids. But just because it’s a short version condensed down to forty minutes, did it have to be so devoid of impact? This version is without a doubt  the blandest, joyless, soul crushing version of hunchback to date. It’s has all the flavor watery  hospitable vanilla ice cream. There is nothing in this version that conveys any sort of emotion or interest. It’s like a paint by number retelling of another retelling.

Before you can understand the pain of the other Burbank version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, you need to experience the pain. So you can either suffer through the forty some odd minutes of hell or just read this plot summary.   I’m sure more thought and effort were used to write this post than went into making the movie.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

The story starts mind-numbingly on Year’s Eve 1599, a mere 117 later than the book for no real reason. Actually I got ahead of my self the movie actually starts with a wizard introducing this “wizard’s tale.” I can’t fathom what was being smoked at the studio when that idea was proposed and then accepted.

So, everything is going great in France as fake accent French people stroll about and pad out the 40+ minute runtime with weird animation and laugher.  Esmeralda is shown awkwardly twirling around when she approaches Frollo. Frollo rejects giving her money for her dancing by putting up his palms. On his palms is a birthmark which scares Esmeralda as she says it’s “the mark of evil.”  You know kind of what Esmeralda said in the 1939 version but instead of being something in lines of his hand it’s a big purple evil face, have fun with that and remember to put that on his hand animation team. Anyway Esmeralda walks off and Frollo doesn’t seem to like her.

Quasimodo crowned King of Clowns Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo crowned King of Clowns

Cut to Frollo chilling with King Henry IV, and to the version’s credit they got the proper monarch of France correct just not the correct year of the actual book, I mean to be fair it’s not like the first paragraph of the book or anything, it’s in the second, it’s very hard to miss… Moving on Frollo tells the king that he think Esmeralda is evil and Henry tells him to stop being narrow-minded and muses the Frollo probably still thinks the earth is still flat, which Frollo says it is. Hmm, this is reminding me a lot of the 1939 version…. Henry then gives Esmeralda a coin  just like in the 1939 version, hmm I’m saying that a lot, WEIRD!

Esmeralda then spots an eye looking at her, you know like another version, I’m noticing a bit of a pattern here. Anyway it’s Quasimodo and his dove friends, Quasimodo have doves that follow him around, at least it’s original. The town people chase after Quasimodo and make him dance for their amusement and then name him Kind of the Clowns and for some reason the crown of “King of Clowns” is not a jester hat but a wreath of laurels. WHY?   Frollo then reveals that he is the guardian of Quasimodo and how dare Quasimodo make a fool of Frollo in public again Again? What was the first time?. Less than ten minutes in and I’m so numb, hypothermia take me away.

Esmeralda the tries to go to the King to ask him for help for her people but the guard wants to arrest her because she is a gypsy and she runs away to Notre Dame. The Priest saves her and takes her in and introduces himself as Padre Jean-Paul. Why Spanish? I don’t get that, someone fill me in on why a Priest at Notre Dame de Paris would call him self “Padre?”  Cut to Frollo talking to some important looking guy demanding Quasimodo be whipped for going out in public, to which the important looking guy says no. Then it’s happy New Year and they have fireworks amidst tons of repeat animation and then everyone just leave because who parties all night for a new century, it’s bedtime.

Esmeralda meets Phoebus Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda meets Phoebus

Padre Jean-Paul then teaches Esmeralda how to pray because the 1939 version did it.  However Frollo comes in and yells that she can’t pray and then says she a witch who steals men’s heart and drives them mad. Literally it’s been two hours since Frollo first saw Esmeralda and he is already obsessed with destroying her. This Frollo makes book Frollo sane.  Esmeralda then goes upstairs and sees Quasimodo and takes off running. Quasimodo pursues her because he want her to know he is her friend. Phoebus then saves Esmeralda and sends Quasimodo to the Bastille. Phoebus and Esmeralda share a moment, he is not a smug jerk in this version.

Just like in the 1939 version, Frollo orders all the Gypsy women by round up so he can find Esmeralda but she gives the guards the slip. Meanwhile, Quasimodo is found guilty and Frollo makes a plea that Esmeralda is a witch and should be punished. Quasimodo is in the stocks begging for water. While that is happening Padre Jean-Paul explains to Esmeralda that Quasimodo is the nicest person and wouldn’t have hurt her. Esmeralda then gives him water but runs off as a guard approaches.

Frollo tries to cover Esmeralda's face Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo tries to cover Esmeralda’s face

The King holds a masked party and Esmeralda shows up to dance to see Phoebus, even though there is a warrant out for her and she knows it. Phoebus and Esmeralda dance and confess their love for each other but then Frollo ruins the party by arresting her.

At her trail she declared a menace to society because she just so darn pretty that poor men just can help themselves with her around and sentence her to death.While is jail, Phoebus tells he is trying to arrange an appeal for her but he also has a plan to save her which is the same plan that Gringoire used in the 1939 version which was printing pamphlets.  However the night before her execution Quasimodo breaks her out of jail with the help of his dove pals.  As Esmeralda and Quasimodo seek into Notre Dame, Frollo confesses to Padre Jean-Paul that Esmeralda is not a witch and he is in love with her and the padre says he can’t forgive Frollo if he does come clean. Frollo then finds out that she has escaped with Quasimodo help.

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus

Now it’s the seventh of January, seven days! All this in seven days? Anyway Phoebus is getting the people on Esmeralda’s side and now know that she escaped jail. Phoebus, the Padre and Frollo all gather at the King’s to discuss Esmeralda. The Kings likes Phoebus’ approach but admits her can’t do anything without evidence. The Padre says Esmeralda is falsely accused then guilts Frollo to admit his lies which he does and the king pardons her. Frollo then rushes to Notre Dame to kill her. Frollo awkwardly attacks Quasimodo and then Quasimodo uses the bells to knock Frollo down the bell tower. Esmeralda and Phoebus reunite, people cheer, End of movie.

 

 

 

It’s October so that means a four scary casting options.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

Ahhh, Gerard Butler we met again. For those of you who live under a rock in a deep cave, Gerard Butler was in the 2004 film version of the Phantom of the Opera musical as the Phantom. The Phantom’s character is kind of like the combination of Quasimodo and Frollo as he is deformed but very much motivated by sex and a wrapped sense of what love is, though Phantom has an arc and learns and Frollo doesn’t. Anyway so Butler was criminally mis-casted as the Phantom and now let’s muse him being cast as Frollo.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

Butler isn’t that bad of an actor, there are worst people, Butler just picks bad movies so if he were in any version of Hunchback it would mark it as a bad movie. More than that, Butler is completely wrong in type for Frollo. Frollo is meant to have a older austere look and is considered ugly by shallow Esmeralda. However that is the in book, the movies are different so we can’t wholly dismiss Butler’s look. Bulter actually has a similar look to the 1956 Frollo, Alain Cuny. Also, think about it and I mean REALLY think about it, is there any movie version were Esmeralda is scared of Frollo and calls him ugly? If there is one, I can’t think recall it. Esmeralda in the book is aware of Frollo and is scared of him because he is mean to her but in the movie versions she isn unaware of Frollo. One reason for this is that most of the versions show Frollo’s first look at her and it’s not in a flashback or recounted to the audience, so Esmeralda doesn’t know about Frollo and it’s not till the point of attack that is she made aware of him and how awful he is to her. Him being ugly isn’t even that much of a big deal within the movies, all he needs to be is against Esmeralda for her not to like him and this can be done with him being a priest fighting and then giving in to his lust or being a jerk to Esmeralda’s people.

Gerard Butler as The Phantom, The Phantom of the Opera picture image

Gerard Butler as The Phantom

If it sounds like I’m condoning Butler being cast as Frollo, I’m not, I’m merely illustrating a the discrepancy between the book and movies because there is another issue with Butler, his acting. I did say he wasn’t a bad actor but he doesn’t range. Butler is not capable of playing Frollo. He probably would just yell most of his lines and make rugged poses. Any sense of Frollo’s inner conflict of being godly vs his lust would be throw out the window for some hammy loud lines.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

Butler playing Frollo would be a mess and I would also say that if Butler were cast as Frollo it probably wouldn’t even be the worst part of the movie, and that is the scary part . Also I don’t another handsome Frollo.

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo

Frollo in book is a repressed guy who has no experience dealing with women. As a devote man of god and science he value his purity and prides himself as being above the rest. His madness come out of his devotion. This can be said for Frollo in Quasimodo d’El Paris though in this movie Frollo is Bat-shit crazy. He is insane.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo

What he does is murder women and turns there bodies in to gargoyle to adorn the church. He thinks these women are unhappy and this makes them happy.  He is not delusional he actually believes this is what his mission is, he even has an impressive and comedically over-the-top murder rig lair. This could be the plot of some dark gritty movie and not a comedic Hunchback movie.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo

However given that this is a comedy Frollo is comedic. He really does embody the weird, and I mean weird comedic tone of the movie which is a cross of understated and over-the-top. You would this those styles don’t go together but oddly they do. I do want to discuss the humor more but three parts that illustrate this duality of humor are Frollo wishing Quasimodo Happy Birthday. He says Party time with a big gesture and a monotone expression, when he preaching the “Lord” message to the prostitutes, and when Quasimodo buries Frollo in the sand with only his head sticking out, actually the whole of the trip to beach should count.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo

Howver the bigger question is how is Frollo at being Frollo. A point in this version of Frollo’s favor is that this is the only version where his and Quasimodo is closer to what it was more like in the book and by that I mean they like each other. So many version Frollo seems to hardly even like Quasimodo. In this version, Frollo likes Quasimodo nearly to obsession. He kisses hims calls him his baby, teaches him, builds up Quasimodo’s deadliness to protect him, busts him out of jail and he is totally ok with Quasimodo killing him. Like it’s nothing at all.

Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda & Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda & Richard Berry as Frollo

Speaking of obsession, I do feel like Frollo’s obsession with Esmeralda is more of an after-thought. I mean he is already murdering women, he already has an outlet for his repression of sexual desires.  He does seem to like Esmeralda more and even want her to join him in his quest of murdering women. At this point Frollo says verbatium lines from the books. The lines are from ‘the tomb or my bed’ speech he gives her. While I do like it when Frollo gets to say his book lines, they felt rather forced, I don’t believe this Frollo would say these things or even believe those word, they felt out of character. Also another weird out of character mark for Frollo is his name. Yes it’s Frollo but his first name is Serge and not Claude. Why?

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d’El Paris

There is another aspect of this Frollo that is worth noting, he has a lot of weird phallic imagery associated with him. First of his middle finger. Frollo gives the finger  A LOT during this movie. Mostly the finger is a “Fuck you” but in Ancient times is was symbol for intercourse. Frollo is not JUST  giving the finger to people, his middle finger is also concealing a blade, another bit of phallic imagery. It does end there however, Frollo also has a pet eel. Other than more phallic imagery I don’t know what this means.

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo

As he stands to book Frollo, this Frollo falls short especially with regard to his all-consuming lust for Esmeralda. It never really felt like it was a super big issue for him. In fact he really goes after Esmeralda because he wants to get Quasimodo out of jail and it was  revenge on her parents angle. So the lust really isn’t there as much as it could have been or should have been. In the scope of the movie hover his comedic insanity is fun to watch even though he is a mass murder.

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo

I do have to give Richard Berry props for keeping both his middle finger very straight and up nearly the entire movie.