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You should probably be ready for different answers to this question. To be honest, I didn't particularly care for the film. That might not be entirely a reflection of the film, itself, as much as it might be an affirmation of the musical, itself. I will freely confess that I bought the musical, and all of its elaborate splendor. I felt that the musical was an "event" with the falling chandelier, the organ playing the familiar riff, and Michael Crawford's powerful reinterpretation of the Phantom. I liked Gerard Butler, but I never really bought the fact that he was disfigured. No doubt that his good looks played a part in this because even though he wore a mask, one always knew the good looking face beneath it. Michael Crawford never had to worry about this because one didn't necessarily know him for his looks. In the end, most Hollywood actors would fall into this trap. One other problem that the film had was the translation from stage to screen. On the stage, the elaborate show works because the audience is wowed. For example, when the chandelier swings across the stage and is in plain view of the audience, one is taken aback. However, when this gets translated to the screen, the viewer does not experience the same effect, as there is a barrier, namely the form. The fact is that we, the movie going audience, have become so used to extravagance to an exponential degree in the films that what passes for the stage translated to film seems weak, in comparison. This becomes the challenge in moving from stage to film. Film to stage is another issue. It is easier, I think to make the transition from film to stage in an instance like Lloyd Webber's remake of Wilder's Sunset Blvd. This same translation was lost, to a certain extent, when moving from stage to film for the work about the disfigured genius.
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