I was fortunate to get a free ticket to see the Phantom of the opera at the Odeon Leicester Square. It is not the usual kind of film that I would go to see, which made the whole process that much more interesting. The film itself was visually stunning, beautifully shot with rich sets, costumes and visual trickery. The plot was held together by the flashbacks of a decrepid hero to his youth, rather than telling the story straight; and wasn’t any better for it. It was refreshing to see soap starlet Jennifer Ellison with her clothes on for a change.
Webber’s score doesn’t weather the years that well, parts of it sounding like listening to Queen as their most pompous whilst tripping your box off on some bad acid. I managed to to catch the old MGM standard Seven Brides for Seven Brothers whilst on the treadmill at the gym, which proved to be a useful comparison during that dead slot in TV scheduling.
With Phantom almost all the dialogue was song, the old MGM musicals kept the music interspersed with dialogue, but not our Andrew. When I left the cinema they were filming audience testamonials of the film, so expect a big marketing push and the film lingering at the multiplex for quite some time.
Overall it was a worthwhile experience, more so if you could turn the sound down, but if I had only 20GBP and had to chose between Phantom and the Layer Cake on DVD, the Phantom is going down.