~A series of posts in celebration of those tortured anti-heroes and villainous. . . err, villains, whom we love in spite of ourselves!~
I had originally thought to publish this list as one big post, but then I realised that it would be far too long, and would take me days to complete, so I'm writing it as a series of shorter posts instead. I know I have a bad habit of starting series and not finishing them - I promise I'll finish this one! Also, I'm starting at the wrong end of the series - counting down, instead of up. Oh well - I hope you enjoy it anyway!
1. The Phantom/Erik (Gerard Butler) - The Phantom of the Opera.
Yes, I am going through a second wave of Phantom-obsession. Why do I like this story (and this movie) so much? It's completely overblown and over-the-top. . . and I love every glorious, melodramatic minute of it. It's pretty much the only tragic love story that I actually like.
But about Erik. What is it that makes him such a tragic, sympathetic figure?
*POTO is a "Beauty and the Beast" tale, but The Phantom's and The Beast's stories differ in some significant ways. For instance, the Beast took on his beastly form as a punishment for his selfishness and incapability to see inner beauty in others; whereas the Phantom is punished for the deformity that he was born with ("Why, you ask, was I bound and chained in this cold and dismal place? Not for any mortal sin but the wickedness of my abhorrent face!").
*His hopeless love for Christine.
*Erik's musical genius also makes him a more compelling character, adding a certain "tortured artist" appeal, I suppose.
A word about Gerard Butler as the Phantom - yes, I know he was too young and too good-looking to play Erik (Gerry, a "repulsive carcass"?!). The Phantom is supposed to be physically repulsive - that's kind of the whole point, after all. But other than that, I think Gerard was really very good as Erik, especially considering he only had a half a face to act with, and an awful lot of lip-syncing to do. He conveyed Erik's character in all of its complexities - his simple, almost child-like nature in some scenes, as well as his more violent side. (Lets be honest, who wouldn't totally marry the Phantom if it wasn't for his unfortunate homicidal tendencies! :P).
And this is a little off-topic, but I think I may have found the perfect Phantom - vocally, at least. I like Gerard Butler's voice, but he did struggle at times. As for Michael Crawford. . . I know some people *cough*Alexandra*cough* will kill me (or at least, un-follow me) for saying this, but I don't like his voice that much! Not as the Phantom, anyway! His tenor is too high and whiny - not dark or mysterious enough. Anyway, the perfect Phantom is, in my opinion, Mikael Samuelsson from the Swedish production of POTO. He's got the rough, masculine edge of Gerard's voice, but his voice is MUCH more. . . well, more! Have a listen below (you might want to pause my blog music), or just search for "Phantom of the Opera Swedish cast" on Youtube. I know he's singing in Swedish, but I'm sure all you Phans know the libretto so well that it won't bother you in the least.
Meanwhile, I want to know:
-Who is your favourite Phantom? (In any movie or musical adaptation)?
-Do you feel that Christine made the right choice in the end?
-Who are some of your favourite costume drama villains?