Gerald Butler as The Phantom & Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae The Phantom of the Opera 2004 picture image

Gerald Butler as The Phantom & Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae

It’s a little unfair to discuss this movie against the book as it’s a movie version of the famous musical version of the book. It’s one degree off from anything related to the book, so instead let’s just discuss the movie for what it is, a lovely little mess.

On the whole it’s visually a pretty movie but it made a lot of bad technical and casting choices that make not a good adaptation of the musical adaptation of the book. Let’s just start with the big one, the Phantom. They got very little right about his character. First off the decide to skew younger with casting Gerald Butler and gave him a rock edge. Second the deformity is really minimal. I get that one idea they had is humanize aspect of the musical. Like all the Phantom’s tricks and genius illusions are explainable but in making his deformity which kept him apart and unloved by society no more than a bad sunburn and a slight droop in his eye is childish. Also compared to other singers of the Phantom, Butler doesn’t measure up. So we have a good looking Phantom who can’t sing and the is the major converse of his character.

As far as Emmy Rossum as Christine, I’m not a fan of how she sung the role but as far as looking innocent and doe-eyed she was fine. I do wish they and gotten someone else though but considering the casting on the Phantom especially when Ramin Karimloo (favorite Phantom) was cast in the movie as Christine’s father.

More than the questionable casting this movie despite it’s prettiness make some weird choices. For instance the Marquerade scene is all monochromatic despite the songs saying their are colors everywhere and Christine’s not in costume. Why is her Opera costume Empress Sissi and not like the other costumes prior? I could go on and on and on. Those are little things that take a person out the movie especially when you’re supposed to lots in feels.


The emotions that lost in this movie version are partly being the filmmaker made everything more subtle because it’s a movie. The subtly how the emotions present makes it harder to connect so it really just become boring and with the odd choice and weird casting it become a mess albeit a shallow pretty mess.




We’re Done! Also there’s a conclusion!

Chapter, 24, Barrels! Barrels!

yet another recount for our newest bestest pal Daroga the Persian, I wish he had a name but what are you going to do about it. The bulk of this chapter explains the toture in the forest room or heat. Basic the room makes people go crazy with thrist till the kill them selves on iron tree a.k.a the gibbet. Raoul kind or moans around and complains will Daroga tries super hard to find a spring which is the way out. He does find a way out which leads them to a SHIT-ton (that is the counter word) of barrel all filled with gun powder. Which comes back to Erik’s Ultimatum for Christine; Marry me or die with everyone else in the building.

Gotta say I don’t know what to say on this chapter. It’s mostly the Persian looking for that spring while describing the room and then the method behind the Phantom’s threat. But also maybe it’s just in my copy of the book but the word Phantom is never used, they use the word Ghost. Just interesting.

Chapter, 25, The Scorpion or the Grasshopper: Which?

Christine pulls the Scorpion, which mean yes she’ll marry him and with the turing on Bronze Scorpion it floods the cellar with the barrels nearly drown Raoul and the Persian. Just want to add the Scorpion and Grasshopper piece seems like they would be really pretty.

The chapter is pretty short. There is some confusion over if the Scorpion really means yes to the marriage or if will kill everyone. But Erik was being honest even though very dramatic.

The chapter end the Persian recount.

Chapter 26, The End of the Ghost’s Love-Story

So Erik saves Raoul and the Persian because Christine asked him. She also displays aspects that she will be his wife and stay a live, or what Erik called his “living wife”. She also let Erik kiss her, albeit on the forehead and not that passionate kiss like in the musical but that was enough him. His own mother never let him kiss so her so it was a big deal for him. Erik let her go to be with Raoul. He was redeemed just like Grinch. But then he dies.

It’s a good ending, very heart-breaking and sad for teh crazy, dramatic, genius who just wanted love.


And we’re back to Mr Leroux still trying to make us believe that this story is 100% true. This chapter tries to sum up what happened to everyone, though Christine, Raoul and her guardian lady all just disappear. Leroux claims to have found Erik’s skeleton which has the gold ring he gave to Christine which she lost which he back to her only for her to put of his dead figure after he announced his death in a newspaper. The skeleton was found in that area behind Christine’s dressing room, the place where he first carried her off. Where or not it’s Erik’s skeleton, Leroux’s character of himself believes it.

This ending chunk also gives some vague background of Erik, which is the basis for Susan Kay’s Phantom, which I would recommend reading. It’s sort of a Prequel, Midquel, sequel. There is actually a lot of novels based on Phantom. Most people think Christine and Erik should have been together. Heck, even Andrew Lloyd Webber has musical sequel based on a shitting book.

It’s an ok ending even if does offer a clear ending for the many of the character. Heck even that whole Safety pin thing is never explained. I did like the imagery of the Northern railway Station in the world, the end of it just feels like a cold winter’s night.

Over-all The Phantom of the Opera is an entertaining read. It’s way easier to read that Fricken The Man who Laughs. It’s not the deepesy or thought provoking story but it’s has nice gothic bitter-sweet vibe. I could have left out the stuff with the mangers and money talk, that was just boring. Also I’m not really a fan of the story within a story thing the book did. It meant that while the Phantom the object of the story he never was the subject. Would it have been better if we ever got into the Phantom’s head or is less more? I think not knowing what makes Erik ticks make him more interesting and it the reason why there is all the Phantom retellings. But presenting the book this way really Erik is only in the action a few times. He alluded to and flashback more than actually being a part of a scene.

But yeah, it’s a fun book. On to the movie versions! And lastly, Safety-Pins!!

Chapter 20, In the Cellars of Opera House

In this chapter the Persian and Raoul venture down into the world of the Opera House’s Cellars, of which there are FIVE! They meet with crazy things like the Rat-Catcher. Which I could never figure out, is it a dude or an invention? I know the Julian Sands version takes this Rat-catcher idea to a WHOLE new level. Another than I think a weird cartoon that was pretty damn accurate had it but no other version.

I really wish this underworld of the Opera was shown more in the movies. Some do it but not within the context of the book. Like for example the Charles Dance version he has little a weird underground forest.

I think Tim Burton should direct a phantom version, if only for this chapter. I think his take on it would be so awesome and I would be totally ok with Johnny Depp playing Erik. Maybe Helena Bonham Carter as La Carlotta. You know a true to form Phantom of the Opera a la Burton.

Chapter 21, Interesting and Instructive Vicissitudes of a Persian in the Cellars of the Opera

In this chapter our friend the Persian tell us stuff from his perceptive. We also learn that he also called Daroga which just mean chief of Police. We also learn a little bit of his past with Erik in India and his favorite weapon of choice the Punjab Lasso, which pretty much a noose. It seen in some movies but never named, and I’m not sure if his time in India is ever mention.

Anyway this chapter is interesting, it back paddle a little bit to get more of a picture of Erik who is crackers.He doesn’t like the Persian Daroga meddling his courting, which is involves kidnapping and filling a young lady with terror and guilt, can’t deny the guy a method. This chapter also explains the Siren trap, which will come up later. Basically it’s just Erik in the lake, singing through a reed till her drown the person trying to cross the lake.

So despite the back tracking it’s a good chapter.

Chapter 22, In the Torture-Chamber

More from Persian Daroga, I do not know what to call him. This one doesn’t backtrack. Persian Daroga and Raoul are in the torture chamber which is akin to the the spinny room in the 2004 movie.

So this chapter, Erik gives Christine an ultimatum the grave or his bed. Wait! That’s not right, I need to calibrate, that was Frollo’s ultimatum, Erik’s one the Wedding mass or the requiem. Basically marry me or everyone in the Opera will die. It’s worse than Frollo’s or was Frollo’s just less grand? We also see Erik use the Siren to kill someone though we don’t know who yet. And Christine tried to commit suicide which is a character trait we don’t see in the movie versions.

Over all I like this chapter, it’s great to see how crazy Erik really is. Also his idea of marriage is so naive for some one is a crazed genius killer, he just wants to take walks on Sundays. Doesn’t sound like sultry guy in the musicals.

Chapter 23, The Tortures Begin

Again more from Persian Daroga, I hope you like this guy because he will be narrorating till the almost end sadly he is like never in the movies.

Erik AGIAN mentions Sunday scrolls with his wife. Really he just wants a cozy normal life, though with his flair for the dramatics I doubt it would be all that normal. Speaking of his flair for drama, the Torture Chamber and no it’s not some bad pop music. Christine tries to get the key from Erik’s bag of life and death, see drama. But she fails and then Erik shows her through a little window the chamber which has an iron tree. Erik says it’s a joke but the torture comes in the form of hear because it’s an African Forest, oh such weird twisted humor.

These chapter were WAY better than the later batch. Without all the mysterious this story is way more interesting but then again everyone knows the story so there is no more mystery which is a little sad stylistically. I still would like a more by the book movie where at least the bulk of Christine’s first kidnapping is told in flashbacks but that is just me, say goes for Frollo’s confession.

Remember you can make suggestions for which movie versions of Pahntom you want to see reviewed, otherwise I have to pick myself.

I’m upping the pace because I realized that if I keep to three chapters a week I would have to go one week in January and that just seemed sloppy so I’m wrapping the book up before the New Year.

Chapter 16, Mme, Giry’s Revelations

So this chapter was boring! It’s just more how it was done by Giry and more yelling from our old pals the mangers who make all the scene they are in boring. Hey Leroux! It’s the Phantom of the Opera not boring Opera Mangers yell about money.

So instead of me rehashing the chapter to you because that is boring I will just tell you fine people what I found interesting. Two things, Mme. Giry has three teeth. Either she’s old or didn’t take care of her teeth. One thing that I have been told is that Teeth is in French lit, at least with regards to out old pal Victor Hugo, is that Good Teeth is a thing. It makes someone like hot! Also first season of Downton Abbey a girl commented on a guy she like-liked and noted that he had good teeth.

Second this is Mme. Giry’s motivation for helping the O.G. She did it for her daughter. The Phantom promise Giry that Little Meg would be an Empress and he did make her the ballet 1st row leader which I guess it good, I know shit about Ballet. I found this more interesting because the book at the beginning that Meg married well but in the sequel of the Webber musical Meg was like prostitute. I’m not sure what Meg was in the Phantom of Manhattan which the Webber musical was LOOSELY based around but that book was the ass-trash of a person with massive diarrhea so who the fuck cares.

Chapter 17, The Safety-Pin Again

God Damn that fucking safety-pin again. I didn’t find interesting the first time so why would it be good a second time?

The answers is no, it’s not good. The mangers get tricked for a billionest time by the O.G. These guys are boring to read about and are just asking to be pranked.

To improve this chapter place the book on a radiator so it warms up. It not only makes this chapter better but improves the reading experience for all books. Books that are toasty warm are scientifically better than cold books. It’s a true fact, It’s a fact rock!

Improve Books with heat Phantom of the Opera picture image silly

Improve Books with Heat

Chapter 18, The Commissary, the Viscount and the Persian

I really LOVE that the last two chapters have been about money tricks and not like the lady who disappeared on stage, these mangers know what’s what, Money>People. It’s the foundation of civilization and good business. If I can borrow a joke, if these managers could, they would throw strippers at money.

So we just get more about Erik being the Angel who might have took Christine and back and forth with Raoul and the commissary and what not. The Police think it was Raoul’s brother who took Christine. Then The Persian comes on the scene and he is like “Come with me if you want to live!” No does, but he block Raoul and accuses him of knowing Erik’s secrets and not letting Raoul speak of them. Raoul is such the whiner but that is what love will do to you.

Again not the great chapter though part about Erik are better then the money talk.

Chapter 19, The Viscount and the Persian

How come the Persian’s servant gets a name but he doesn’t? Must be a style thing.

Okay this chapter is more interesting than the last few, though I dare say that doesn’t take very much. Raoul and the Persian chat about Erik. The Persian has no doubt that Erik took Christine and he goes on to try and show Raoul the mirror trick which is operated on a counterbalance pivot spring thing that makes the wall turn. Of Course Erik being a card carrying genius dismantled the wall device so they couldn’t follow. Clever Girl erm boy erm Ghost, Clever Ghost! Actaully no, Phantom didn’t dismantle it, it opened at the end of the chapter, so not that clever ghost.

The Persian also give Raoul a gun because why the fuck right? The motives of the Persian aren’t clear but they are touched on. So yeah good chapter and makes sure you keep your book toast warm but DON’T put your kindles on radiator that is not a good idea.


Note – Also in January I will look at some movie and or play versions of Phantom so just leave a comment below if there is a particular movie veriosn you want too see reviewed. I want to do a minimum of four but I can do more if there is interest or I feel like it.

Here is a list, so please make suggestions ^^

And if you have a book you would like the blog to look at after Phantom is done, just leave a  suggestion in the comments. Though I might take a break from these type of posts just as a warning if you don’t see posts on Mondays. We’ll see.

Chapter 13, A Master-Stroke of the Trap-Door Lover

Not a bad chapter, has a little bit of a slow start. The end is good with Christine Daae disappearance mid-show. Lights go off and she’s gone. A jump-cut must have gotten her though it’s book. It is interesting that Erik gave permission for the fake engagement. I also like Christine flipping out about the ring. The ring I don’t think ever makes into the films, well not a plain gold one given to by the Phantom. I could be and am probably wrong though and I’m just forgetting a movie that has it.

Really it’s no wonder why film makes don’t adapted the story more faithfully, Raoul is a boring stalker and Erik is more interesting. It a shame that we all pretty much know the story.

That is all I can really say about the one.

Chapter 14, The Singular Attitude of a Safety-Pin

I skimmed this one, I admit it. It was boring. Basically the characters just figure Christine run off with Raoul but most modern reader know she didn’t run off at all and not with Raoul. This chapter is for dum-dum who can’t figure it out.

Yeah this one is just dull.

Chapter 15, Christine! Christine!

Origianally when I was going to do this post I was going to cover two instead of three because I’m lazy but this chapter is short. It’s good though because I would have either had to done four next week or be off schedule.

Anyway this short chapter is Rauol going to gate that leads to the lake under the opera and meeting the Persian. Really that’s it. It’s quick and dull. I really just skimmed it. Hopefully it will pick up again soon.

Apollo’s Lyre

Why only one chapter this week? Well a few reasons, it’s a very long chapter, it’s a very important chapter and it’s my favorite chapter.

Very simply in this chapter Christine explains the voice, the Opera Ghost, and Erik. How they met and all their interactions. How he loves her and how she pity him, lies to him and horrifies her.

Much like the confession scene or rathe chapter in Hunchback, Christine tells Raoul the story as in flashback. Most movies and stage show just show theses scene as they happen in the narrative. Which isn’t bad at all, I just like the mood it create as a story. Though if I was director or screenwriter, I would present this scene as flashbacks with cut back to Christine telling the story to Raoul on a dark roof with shadow lurking on Apollo Lyre This same goes for Frollo’s confession.

Ok so some points of interests that I don’t believe you see in movie or stage versions, remember how it was mentioned that Erik first took Christine right after the chandelier fell during Faust? This means Christine HAD to have been dresses in her costume which was male. No frilly dressing gown or romantic gown when she was taken underground. Not that I don’t like the dressing Gown of Webber’s show but it’s interest to remember that she was in boy clothes as Siébel. I mean given Christine’s urgency to find the voice after the Chandelier fell I doubt she changed.

Second thing, when Erik grabs Christine she struggles to escape but she says that his hand past over her mouth and she smelled death. Now I was on a forum ages ago and someone suggested that Erik used chloroformed on her. She also mented she felt she under teh influenced of some kind of cordial or alcohol. It’s possible that Gaston Leroux didn’t know what chloroform smelled like and just suggested it smelled like death, from some quick research it seem to smell like acetone but also somewhat sweet and chemically. It’s also possiable that he didn’t but it seems likely given Christine passing out and acting a little drunk/drugged.

Anyway this is my favorite chapter, makes all the build up mystery totally worth. Read it!

Chapter 10, Forget the Name of the Man’s Voice

Unlike the first time that Christine goes missing this time she returns to her the next day but with a plain gold ring, or a wedding ring. This make Raoul all kinds of mad. This chapter takes at Christine’s home with her patroness, Mamma Valérius, who is a silly woman who believes in the Angel of Music.

Most of the chapter is Christine and Raoul at odds with Erik, who Raoul reveals to Christine that he knows the Angel of Music’s name which mean that Christine learns that Raoul was in her dressing room or he just tells her, she isn’t that smart. I do like that Christine tries to assert herself by telling Raoul she doesn’t have to answer to anyone as she is not married and does intend to do so.

At the end though Christine tells Raoul not to go to her dressing room unless she asks which is the next day.

It’s a good little adds more to mystery of things.

Chapter 11, Above the Trap-doors

In this chapter Raoul and Christine pretend to be engage and have a grand time going about the opera house. However then they hear a trap door being closed behind them. Raoul wonder if it’s him but Christine tells Raoul that Erik is working and is consumed but when he is. But she seems to be convincing herself of that more than him as she gets agitated. Raoul tells her he will take her away from Erik and his power over her. She then tells Raoul that they must go higher.

I liked this chapter it was kind of cute, the way the played at being engaged. The two seem like simple idiots in love with Christine being paranoid and Raoul is trying his hardest to win her over.

Chapter 7, Faust and What Followed

This chapter is one of the big ones as it’s where the Chandelier falls. I don’t know if in the musicals or movies if killed but it did end Madam Giry’s replacement as she had been fired. Not sure if the Phantom planed that or not but he is a Genius. Also keep in mind that Christine was wearing boy clothes as she is playing a guy in Faust which is just something to keep in mind for a later chapter.

Faust is the opera of choice here and to my knowledge only one movie version does feature it. I could be wrong but I really only recall one and in that one Christine was a blonde. I just find it so funny that because of Sarah Brightman, the look of Christine is curly brown hair and she wasn’t even the first brunette Christine, that was Mary Philbin.

Ok I’m off track here. But yeah Phantom warns people, they don’t listen and Carlotta croaks and Chandelier goes down. That sums up the chapter. Oh and Christine writes to Raoul saying that he must never see her again which makes him sad.

Also one more thing, The Phantom has messy handwriting.

Chapter 8, The Mysterious Brougham

A Brougham is a horse-drawn carriage with a roof, four wheels, and an open driver’s seat in front. So in this chapter Raoul learns of Christine disappearance and no one really care except him. The mangers tell hime she is on sick leave and her guadian know’s about the angel of music and totally cool with the whole thing.

Raoul the learns from his big brother that Christine was spotted in a brougham with a guy. Raoul stakes her out and sees her in the Brougham with his own eyes the next day. The Christine asks him to a mask ball.

Two things;
1) Raoul is a stalker, he is just rich and good-looking so in the book’s context he is being a romantic hero….
2) The scene with Christine in the Brougham would so cool on film. I don’t think it has been done I could be wrong but there isn’t like a super moody film version. Most versions are either very different or pretty self contained to the opera. We don’t get this scene or Perros in the graveyard though I think the 1989 version has the Phantom playing a Violin. The scened however  adds another aspect to the Phantom were he does get out of the Opera.

Chapter 9, At the Masked Ball

Raoul and Christine meet at a masked ball or a costume party or  a fancy dress party or ball if you rather. They are in Domino costumes. Which just a robe and a mask and not the game pieces or the pizza place.  At the party is the Phantom as the Red Death, which if you have see the Webber Stage version it’s pretty much that, so they got something right.

Christine tries to tell Raoul but he a little mad at her accuses her of being false when she says she loves him. She then tells him she will never sing nor see her again.

Being the romantic that he is, (cough) stalker (cough), he hides in dressing room. Chrristine comes in and laments for Poor Erik, which doesn’t make for for a happy Raoul in fact he is confused by it. Then they hear the beautiful heavenly yet male voice of the Angel of Music. Christine disappearance through the mirror leaving an unhappy Raoul to wonder who is Erik. Because it’s a mystery story.

The Mirror scene! It is interesting to note that in many version this mirror scene is done when Christine first goes down to the Phantom’s lair and not a second time. This is just to condense things. Not mad just interesting.

Also the way this scene is present seem much more dazzling in the book than the was movie handle it. Where there are more reflection of Christine the just a sliding mirror. Though the stage version gets a pass since with it being on stage and doing the lighting to reveal the Phantom it’s cool. Though maybe I’m wrong and there is a cool version of these scene. It’s been a while since I watch a movie version of Phantom.


The book opens with the author Gaston Leroux telling us that the book was based on real events. That the ghost was real and the story was the result of Leroux looking through inquiries and not made up. Of Course the inquiry is a fiction, it all made up. I suppose it sets a mood for mystery.

Chapter 1, Is it the Ghost?

The book starts with the management changing and the principle dancer, Sorelli is getting ready to make  a speech. The ballet girls then rush into Sorelli’s dressing room as the are scared of the Opera Ghost. The Ghost is describe as a death head in a dress suit, he’s fashionable. Towards the end of the chapter Joseph Buquet is found died hanging from a set. Some say suicide but the dancers know it was the ghost since Joseph saw him.

Just some points of differences from movies and the Webber version, Meg Giry is described as having black eyes and hair which is way off from blond she is the Webber show, also the prolouge said Meg married well so F.U Love never Dies.   Also Joseph Buquet is a quiet hard worker which is quiet different to the drunk he is the musical.

Also I don’t think Sorelli and the other little dancer, Jammes are ever in any movie versions, I could be wrong.

Chapter 2, The New Margarita

Enough built-up, I mean jeeze it took what two chapters for us to meet the main characters, I kid I’m still not over The Man who Laughs, that book took forever for anything to happen.

Anyway in this chapter we meet Raoul and his older brother. WE also get their back story like Raoul is  twenty years younger than his brother and they have sisters too. It’s nice getting the backstory from the get-go as it won’t hold things up later.

Christine is also introduced. We learn that six months ago she wasn’t that great as a singer but now she is a triumph. Raoul recognize Christine but she does know him.  Christine then asks to be alone and Raoul assumes it’s for him but it’s to talk to The Phantom. She tells him that she sings only for him and that she gave him her soul. At this point the Phantom is just as voice for Christine. Christine leaves her dressing room as Raoul watches her leave, he was eavesdropping. He looks into the dressing room and sees it’s empty, dun-dun-dun. Then more Buquet stuff.

Just for the record Margarita is the role Christine played in Faust which was her big moment. She also sang as Juliet but that seemed like it wasn’t the full opera.


Chapter 3, The Mysterious Reason 

This time we are introduced to the new mangers, Armand Moncharmin and Firmin Richard. They are given the ropes which involve the Opera Ghost, mainly concering Box five which is the Ghost’s box but they decide to sell it, Poor Fools.

A lot of this chapter is from their memoirs.

Aside from the Prologue it’s a good start, thing move along and happen.

Lon Chaney as the Phantom of the Opera With Mary Philbin picture image

Lon Chaney as The Phantom of the Opera with Mary Philbin as Christine Daae

Finally a deformed dude from movie(s) that I’m familiar with. Prior to Hunchback I was big into the Phantom of Opera so I have seen a lot of the movie/ musical version of this.

Phantom of the Opera comes from  book  written by Gaston Leroux from 1909 and was made into several popular movies namely the 1925 version starting former Quasimodo, Lon Chaney and 1943 version starting Claude Rains, though it was the 1986 musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber that made it a Household name.

The basic plot of Phantom is a deformed musical and all around genius, a.k.a Erik, lives under a Paris opera house where he falls in love with an aspiring opera diva, Christine Daae. Erik is obsessed Christine and kills though who get in his way. Unlike our pal Frollo, Erik is in love with Christine to fair degree. In a way Erik is a combo of Quasimodo and Frollo. He’s tragic and dreams of beauty and love but he is crazy.

Erik’s appearance and back story changes from version to version. In the book he looks like a corpse with a skull head and gray skin. The book was the basis for Chaney’s make-up. In the 1943 version, he was burnt with acid. The Webber musical used a half make so the performer could singer easier. The deformity therefore only affect one side of his face. Typically  the deformity has a hug lip, exposed areas and doesn’t look very nice. The 2004 version just looked like a bad sunburn.

Well the brings us to the end and it’s time to re-read Phantom, I better get reading.