Julian Sands as The Phantom & Asia Argento as Christine Daae The Phantom of the Opera Argento picture image

Julian Sands as The Phantom & Asia Argento as Christine Daae

One thing I will say about the 2004 version is that it is not the worst version of The Phantom of the Opera. This isn’t even an opinion because I can guarantee that if you ask anyone they will say the 1998 Italian Horror version directed by Dario Argento is the worse movie version. This version is just downright weird and unpleasant.

In this version the Phantom is NOT deformed, instead he was raised by rats and he has a little bit of a fetish for them. This raises so many questions as he speaks normally, plays musics, wears clothes etc, Did the rats teach him all that. Also considering that the deformity is what cause him his isolation and his madness, where does it come from? This movie doesn’t even get the basics right.

Christine is also very much into the Phantom and his weird sense of pick-up lines. He also rapes her. This is not a creditable version in the slightest.

There is SO many weird off-putting side plots and visual that leave with a sense that your brain is being evaporated through your eyes.

Please Don’t Watch this movie!


Site Note- To deal with some burn-out have been going through, I’m taking a brief break from posting on Mondays.


1987 Animated cartoon Phantom of the Opera picture image

Erik, 1987 Animated cartoon Phantom of the Opera

That’s Right, my friends, In 1987 Emerald City Production made a straight to Video animated version of Phantom of the Opera riding the coat-tails of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. It’s a really good thing Disney didn’t make a Phantom in the mid-90’s because otherwise we would have gotten stuff on the line with all Hunchback knock-offs. Can you imagine a version of Phantom were he isn’t ugly, oh wait, they already did that (sort of), but enough about that, how is the animated version?

Compared to all the other versions, this version follows the book albeit really simplified, is about 40 minutes long. The character does have much development or even interest BUT Erik does get his redemptions and dies after Christine kisses him.  Though instead of just a straight-up broken heart, he plays his organ in such a way that it makes the ceiling fall and crush him.

Also this version on the technical end of this is terrible. It’s cleared they had no budget. They is A TON of receptive animation and the movement on the character is so wooden that actually wood would have moved better. That being said I would rather watch this than the majority of the Hunchback knock-offs because this version of Phantom doesn’t speak down to it’s audience.


It’s a cheap yet by the book versions of Phantom. Would I recommend it? If you’re a fan of the book yeah but otherwise meh. It’s not a good version but nor is so bad that one should experience.   Though it the most accurate version to Leroux’s novel.


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 ^^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptations_of_The_Phantom_of_the_Opera#Film

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.

Chapter 4, Box 5

This chapter focuses on the new mangers dealing with the Opera Ghost. First they think it’s a joke and they annoyed and ask Madam Giry for answers and she isn’t that helpful. That’s kinda much it. The point of annoyance centers on Box Five, which the Opera Ghost claims but the mangers are selling to make a profit. The OPera Ghost plays haunt on those in box 5.

It’s a silly chapter that adds to the mystery of thing, like it a ghost or not, though everyone already knows that it’s a dude.

Chapter 5, The Enchanted Violin

So Raoul is also a stalker. But this a great chapter. WE learn of Christine’s back ground with her going up poor in Sweden and her father getting a patron and how she meet Raoul. We also get that scene where the Phantom plays the violin at churchyard.

Also Christine is horrified to know that Raoul heard her with the angel of music which she thought she was the only that could here the voice, so she wasn’t too happy.

I do like that Christine’s character is given more description. She is a dreamy sort of person and the connection she has to her and music is made more clear.

Good chapter, I do hope someday the churchyard scene don properly. I’m pretty they deleted it from the 1925 version and the Webber version sort had it but not really. Though made one the independent versions did the scene properly and I just missed it, totally possible

Chapter 6, A Visit to Box Five

I love me a short chapter!

Basically all that happens in this one is that the mangers look up ay Box 5 thinks they see the Ghost with its death head and the other doesn’t. They then decided that on Saturday during Faust they will sit there. More set-up and mystery.


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.

Emmy Rossum picture image

Emmy Rossum

One name that pops up from time to time as a possible casting pick for Esmeralda, especially with regards to musical versions as in Notre Dame de Paris, is Emmy Rossum. Emmy Rossum is most known for her role in the 2004 movie version of The Phantom of the Opera as Christine Daae.

When I first saw the Phantom movie I really dislike it and her performance as I thought she was just weak on the vocals as well as Gerald Butler, however I have since soften on that opinion and I really don’t care. But Christine Daae is a very technically demanding role whereas Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris isn’t. Oh don’t get me wrong, you need a good singer but you don’t need someone who can hit that E6. So would Emmy Rossum make a good Notre Dame de Paris Esmeralda?

Emmy Rossum picture image

Emmy Rossum

Well, one thing Rossum has going against her on the looks front is her skin tone, she is pale. However I think musicals are more forgivable for skin tone. I say give her bronzer if she is the best person for the role and there is that pesky little question again. Her other looks fit into the scope of the token look for Esmeralda of Notre Dame de Paris, so she pretty good on the look front.


Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae from The Phantom of the Opera picture image

Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae from The Phantom of the Opera

But what about her voice? Like I said Rossum isn’t my favorite Christine Daae, to be honest I don’t have one I have a few but again not the question here. Rossum is often label as a lyric soprano which has warm full quality. Now I’m not going to pretend that I know anything about voice, I couldn’t tell you the difference between was it really means to be a Coloratura Soprano vs a Soubrette vs a Lyric Soprano. However listening to parts of Rossum’s Inside Out and Sentimental Journey I can say I prefer Rossum singing at the lower vocal register which is fine for Esmeralda. I think Rossum could sing to role perfectly well.

Emmy Rossum as Finoa from Shameless picture image

Emmy Rossum as Finoa from Shameless

But then there is acting. Post Phantom Rossum’s movie career took a little bit of a creditable hit as she appeared in some BAD movies. To be fair to Rossum, no actor in the history of humans could have acted well in Dragonball: Evolution, just pick a good actor and imagine them in that movie and they would seem bad. Rossum got some credit back as Fiona in the Showtime show Shameless which I haven’t seen but I saw her in a clip from it and she was good in it.

However like I have said Esmeralda isn’t a technically demanding role but there is some contradictions that a good Esmeralda should keep in balance as she must be sensual while maintaining innocence, she also should have be natural and celestial. Rossum’s role as Christine Daae is a good lead in to these dualities so I think Rossum could handle the role on the acting front.

Emmy Rossum picture image

Emmy Rossum

I think in the same way as I felt about Taylor Swift for the role as Fleur-de-Lys, Emmy Rossum wouldn’t be not my first choice for the role as Esmeralda but if were to happen if wouldn’t be the worst casting.
Actually I kind want Rossum to play Esmerada to Swift’s Fluer-de-Lys. Can we at least get them to sing Beau Comme le Soleil or Shining like the sun as it’s called in English? This is either a great idea or a terrible idea but I want to see it.

Anyway Yay or Nay on Emmy Rossum for Esmeralda from Notre Dame de Paris as like for a movie?