Friday, January 9, 2015

The Phantom of the Opera

I find it incredible that anyone could remain "team Phantom" after reading the novel (not that I really sympathizing with him much anyway). By the way, the Viscomte de Chagny is 40ish year old Philippe and Raoul is his 20 years younger brother the Comte de Chagny. Christine Daae is Swedish, and Carlotta is the Viscompe's mistress. Madame Giry is an old, ignorant, superstitious woman. The narrator is sort of part of the story as is an old Persian. The Phantom's name is Erik.

When the Viscompte comes looking for his brother, the Phantom knowingly lets him fall in one of his death traps and die. We hear the bell and guess what happens, but Raoul and Christine have no idea until after the contest with the Phantom. Yes. Take that in. The Phantom was also quite willing to torture people to death, and he made torture instruments as part of his former occupation. He was a socio/psychopath. This story is written in a sketchy, "ghost story" sort of manner. Here a source of information, there a clue; here a rumor, there a witness. Nice and creepy. I really want to see the Paris Opera House.

10 comments :

  1. Well, you know what I think about the Phantom... :) I have only read the novel, but I do think it is important to note that though he does build instruments of torture, he also repents and releases the Persian and Raoul. Also, though he is "crazy," I have always felt that "The Phantom of the Opera" is very much a fairy-tale and becomes more so as the story goes on, which said fact can sometimes change the rationale of stories. Anyways some of my thoughts and I hope you have a lovely evening!

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    1. The book to me seems more of a horror story while the musical is more "magical" although I would not consider it a fairy-tale.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. First of all, I'm sorry I removed your comment on accident (I wish blogger had a way to retrieve comments; I've done this SO many times!).

      Okay, I got confused about which title goes to which brother, I did know Raoul was younger. I have to say that I don't think Erik was redeemed, I think that part didn't at all fit with his truly psychopathic character. I can like conflicted "bad guys" to a certain extent (Henry Crawford or Loki) or not really bad guys, but the Phantom, nope.

      And I need to work on reading Classic Club reviews more often. I'm trying to start participating again.

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    2. Or at least a better way than copying, urls, and pasting, which I don't consider "retrieving." Come on Google!

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    3. I have learned not to try to do anything with blog comments on my phone, as I have inadvertently deleted several comments that way myself. Blogger really needs a way to fix that! Or even a "Do you really want to delete this comment?" box or something.

      In the book, Erik states a couple of times that all he really wants is to be loved for who he is, not what he can or can't do. Whether or not Christine does that, he believes she does, and the way I see it, that belief frees him from his bitter search for acceptance and love that he's been on all his life. The part at the end where he comes to visit the Persian and tells him about his past just breaks my heart -- when Christine kissed his forehead, that was the first time any human had kissed him. His mother was so revolted by his appearance that she refused to touch him! Ever! She made him his first mask because she could't stand to look at him -- can you imagine what that would do to a child? Of course he grew up twisted and angry!

      Does that absolve him from any later wrongdoing? Of course not. He killed Joseph Bouquet, he was instrumental in how many deaths back when he worked for "the little sultana," and he caused the death of Raoul's brother (whether he killed him with his own hands or caused him to drown, I don't know). However, I don't see him so much as a psychopath that delights in killing as a man who was never shown anything but fear and hatred, and who consequently feels those primarily in return. When shown kindness and compassion by Christine, and years earlier by the Persian, he responds in kind. That doesn't atone for his evil, but I think it shows he has a conscience after all.

      Actually, I don't care for Henry Crawford or Loki at all. They both delight in toying with people for their own amusement and have no regard for the consequences, as long as they themselves aren't hurt. Loki does make me laugh, and I admire Tom Hiddleston's skill at bringing him to life, but really I can't stand Loki, and only tolerate him because Thor loves him so achingly much. (In a brotherly way, of course.) And Henry Crawford is a creep. IMHO!

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    4. I hated Henry Crawford and never understood the interest in him until I just re-read Mansfield Park; I still don't like his type of character (in book and real terms), but I think he was more complex and more in love than I originally gave him credit for being. And unfortunately, I think he is far better portrayed as bad guy than Edmund is as a good guy (its almost like Austen got bored with portraying Edmund, he falls so flat at the end while Crawford remains and increases in complexity; I'm always dissatisfied at the end of Mansfield Park). Don't misunderstand me, Crawford deserved to be refused (and I'd doubt he'd reform), especially as he was being thrown at poor Fanny, but I don't consider the other parties (Maria and Julia) much to be pitied in the same way that Wickham and Willoughby's seducations could have been.

      And by liking Loki, I'm deleting the Avengers Loki, I like the complex Thor Loki, not the Avenger Supervillian.

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    5. Edmund is so dull, I am right with you there. And Maria and Julia are appalling. This is why MP is my least-favorite Austen book! I only actually, truly like two characters, Fanny and her brother. And I don't like them intensely enough to make up for how much I dislike everyone else.

      What about Thor: The Dark World Loki? I actually might like him best, because he's fairly honest about his intentions for once. Thor can't trust him, but he can trust his rage. Had he actually been dead on that planet, I would have mourned him deeply. In fact, I totally thought he WAS dead the first time I saw it (until the end), and was very sad over him.

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    6. I think Mansfield Park has/had the potential to be one of my favorites actually, its was so different and intense. I didn't find Edmund dull, I loved him in the beginning, I could have forgave him the Mary Crawford episode, but his character did not develop as much as it could have, and he really didn't see Mary Crawford for all she was plus we don't see him when he is in love with Fanny.

      I like Loki's in both Thors, although at the end . . . well, we'll see in the next Thor. The Thor movies are some of my favorite of the superhero movies recently.

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    7. Thor is my favorite Avenger, and I'm really quite looking forward to Ragnarok. Just read an article about it with some photos (someone cuts off his hair!) and details (it will be a bit more comic!). I expected it to be even heavier yet than Dark World, so I'm intrigued to see what happens.

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