phantom of the opera musical vs. Movie

phantom of the opera musical vs. Movie

“Phantom of the Opera” musical vs movie adaptation is an interesting focal point of discussion. We just need to acknowledge some differences, both nuanced and glaring, that are evident in either version.

The Phantom of the Opera

The challenge that we see though is picking which version of the musical to compare to the movie. I will go with the obvious choice – the 25th Anniversary Edition of “The Phantom of the Opera”. Be forewarned though that this article would contain several spoilers for either version.

In the musical:

Carlotta is full-figured. While other live performance versions did not mind casting slimmer actresses for this role (if online trailers would be based), most versions feature a plump Carlotta.

In the movie:

Carlotta is very slim to the point of looking anorexic. It must have been the cream foundation used. Minnie Driver was very slim for the role. But the scene involving the tightening of her girdle supported the anorexic look theory.

In the musical:

Carlotta decided to accept the role of the Countess in “Il Muto” upon singing her part in the song “Prima Donna”. She got dressed in the middle of her part.

In the movie:

Carlotta decided to accept the role of the Countess in “Il Muto” after Messieurs Firmin and Andre wooed her with several gifts. Furthermore, it was implied that just hours before “Il Muto” was staged, the opera directors are still trying to convince Carlotta  to play the role of the Countess. The moment she was shown singing her part in “Prima Donna”, Monsieur Andre was already shown helping her tighten her dress.

In the musical:

Carlotta got dressed for her role in “Il Muto” simply by going behind a dressing cover and getting changed right on stage. Her vanity is emphasized in the song as well as having more than 2 aides help her get dressed.

In the movie:

Carlotta got dressed for her role in “Il Muto” with Monsieur Andre joining her aides in getting her dressed. The diva demands went as far as making Monsieur Firmin drink wine from her shoe and making both opera directors join the rest of the aides in carrying her from her dressing room to the stage.

In the musical:

Carlotta started croaking like a toad in the middle of her performance in “Il Muto” after OG chastised him for calling Christine a toad.  No explanation provided at how OG made her sound like that, supporting the image of OG as someone supernatural enough to cause damage to Carlotta’s voice.

In the movie:

Carlotta started croaking like a toad after getting her aide to spray liquid in her mouth as a dry mouth would affect singing. It humanized OG in a way that the movie showed him swapping surreptitiously Carlotta’s mouth spray with something else. It was harsh enough to clog her vocal chords and make her croak.

In the musical:

When OG chastised Carlotta for the toad remark, his voice reverberated throughout the opera house loud enough for Carlotta to hear, selling the illusion further that he is a ghost trying to haunt Carlotta and the rest of the audience. His laughter echoed on the walls loud enough to make the real audience hear him too.

In the movie:

When OG chastised Carlotta for the toad remark, he was shown merely talking to himself waiting for the  replaced mouth spray to take effect. Only OG can hear himself. He did not even laugh once the effects were heard from Carlotta.

In the musical:

The lair was more like a room filled with stuff that OG has collected all throughout his stay under the Paris Opera House. Not really organized but decent enough to suggest that it’s a hideout away from any individual that might discover that OG is not really a ghost.

In the movie:

The lair was so detailed to the point that it displayed dolls and paintings of Christine just to portray OG’s obsession to his student.

In the musical:

When Christine fainted, OG carried her and chose a random flat surface like the boat to let her sleep.

In the movie:

When Christine fainted at the sight of the life-sized doll bearing her likeness, OG carried her to his pearly shell-themed bed. He left her there and closed the veil that covered the room. That is how intricate OG’s lair is.

The Phantom of the Opera: Movie Review

In the musical:

OG’s mask all throughout the musical was big enough to cover the deformed part of his face, giving you an idea how deformed the covered part could be. The other mask used as Red Death covered even the lower part of the face. The movable jaw of the Red Death mask made him look like Skeletor in a pirate outfit. Awesome!

In the movie:

Most of the masks that OG used are more ornamental rather than tools used to cover his deformed face. No wonder after Christine tried to remove OG’s mask, all that OG had to do is cover his face with his hand. The deformed part of this face is just small enough for a single hand to cover it. The masks used for “Why So Silent” and “Point of No Return” were small enough to make you doubt about the facial deformities too if they even existed.

In the musical:

OG still wore the conventional white mask. But since the character in his musical “Don Juan Triumphant” featured a man fully covered from head to foot, he found a way to sneak the role away from Ubaldo Piangi. Christine had to remove both the hood and the mask to expose OG before a live audience in the Paris Opera House.

In the movie:

OG was wearing a black mask small enough to show the right side of his forehead that is supposed to be deformed. No deformities peeping from the black mask. Of course, while Christine would be exposing OG later, nothing much is left for her to expose anymore. In fact he ends up looking hotter than Raoul in the movie version. Look at them as OG and Raoul, not as Gerard Butler and Patrick Wilson since in real life as of this writing, both actors are hot.

The Phantom of the Opera

In the musical:

Ramin Karimloo can sing and act the part of an obsessed psycho with murderous tendencies. As seen on the live theater version, you will notice how, upon closer look, the emotions that engulfed OG are best expressed by looking through his eyes. The mask did not conceal the emotions because the eyes are very expressive. Try watching his parts again upon singing the reprise versions of “All I Ask of You” and “Masquerade”.

In the movie:

Gerard Butler can act, not sing, the part. The weaknesses in his voice got exposed in the belting parts of “The Phantom of the Opera is there inside your mind”. He’s not really a singer. But he managed to make up for it by infusing psychotic seduction in the songs “Why So Silent” and “Point of No Return”.

The Hollywood version of the hit musical is expected to deviate a little from the material. It is also expected to exploit the advantages of filming the parts that are difficult to pull off in the live theater version. But POTO is a musical. It became a massive hit for the spine-chilling score and the LSS-inducing songs. It is still what made POTO the classic musical that it is today. And the singing is live done by performers that may have been singing for most of their lives before bagging these roles. So I must say that the musical still trumps the movie version.

Phantom Opera Musical Cast in Different Stagings and Film

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