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 Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie

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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:09 am

No, but a few of my friends who speak French have, and I think my brother read it when he was really interested in phantom.

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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:18 am

As mentioned in the thread about the new translation, you may want to read it. It is interesting.

If you read French, reading Phantom in French is a must.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:52 am

Thanks Fay! You're right about my reread. But I don't think now is the right time to be doing it, since I can't remember what I do from day to day.

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I did notice the difference between Christine being a singer vs dancer. Interesting. It would make more sense that Erik would help a singer to improve than to take a dancer and train her. However, per the movie she was young when she came to the opera house to train in the ballet, so she would have been untrained at both, right? Maybe the Phantom saw singing potential in her.

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As for the age difference, I had never really noticed. I do think that it's more appropriate that she would be 20. In the film, the Phantom must be at least in his mid to late 30's, and in our society, 16 is still the age of a child, so it's a little creepier than if she was 20. However, could this be a period difference? I mean, in the early 1900's, 16 was much older than it is today, so it could be that much more appropriate. I don't know.

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I know this isn't the thread for it, but I am hoping to get my hands on the french version of the book. My french is actually better than I thought (was with my french side of the family last weekend and I held my own). My reading has always been better than my speaking, so I want to give it a go!
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:55 am

Whatever her age, Christine being a singer would make more sense. This would give a reason how the Phantom heard her sing and knew that she needed coaching.

In my opinion, the age does matter. Certainly the late 19th Century viewed 15, 16 and 17 as a fitting age for marriage and child birth, and the French version does say Christine was 17 years old, but for the sake of argument, with being 20 would give a better reason for her grieving and not having her heart in the singing. A child tends to grow out of the grief and deal with the life at hand. Not all children, but most.

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Both the novel and 2004 movie have the Masquerade Ball. We know it's around the new year. What is this ball celebrating? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:12 am

I agree with the singer/dancer thing. It definately would make more sense, but in the movie we wouldn't have gotten to see her midriff if she were a singer Razz

I think I understand what you mean about her at the age of 20. At that point, she would have had a lot to grieve.....no husband, no children, no career.

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Interesting you mention that Masquerade ball. I had never, ever thought about what they were celebrating. I guess part of me just assumed it was like a New Years celebration. I know that in the Opera, they mention the new chandelier as something to celebrate. Could there be another holiday around that time that they would have been celebrating in France? Or maybe they just wanted to party!
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:00 pm

Since you don't know what the Masquerade Ball is celebrating, here goes. It's Twelfth Night or Epiphany is what they are celebrating. This comes on January 6th and marks the end of a winter festival that started on All Saints Day or All Souls Day is celebrated in England. Of course we know this as Halloween, which calls for costumes. I will not go into all of the Halloween information since that can be found in another thread, but Twelfth Night is what they are celebrating in Phantom.

Twelfth Night or Epiphany is not only celebrated in Europe but in Mexico as well. Didn't know I knew so much, did you?

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In the 2004 film, we see a group with masks like cats. Do you know why?

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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:13 pm

It's funny.....we do not celebrate Epiphany, but we are well aware of it. I never realized that's what they were celebrating. I also didn't think Twelfth Night and Epiphany were the same thing. I'll have to do a little bit of research to familiarize myself with it. Is it explained in the novel? I know I read it through once, but it's one of those books that I'm sure everytime I read it I'll come up with something new.

Oh, and I had no doubt you knew lots Smile You've been teaching me all kinds of new things for months, as well as pushing me to learn myself!

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As I've mentioned before, my short term memory is very poor right now. Mom and I just got done talking about Epiphany/Twelfth night. I watched the Masquerade scene with her, and honestly, I didn't see the group with the cat masks. I blame the meds. Interesting you would ask me about that though, considering I have 4 cats myself. I could only assume that it was a form of worship, as cats throughout the years have been things of worship. But, since I didn't see it, I can't be sure on it. Can you point out roughly where in the scene they are? I won't be able to watch it until next weekend, so you can either answer the question or not. But I still want to know where they are drunken scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:56 pm

I had a girlfriend who used to attend Twelfth Night and she made all of her costumes. They were exquisite. Better than any you could buy.

No, neither the book or any film explains that. I know, because I am familiar with the holiday from when my girlfriend would attend. After looking into it many years ago, I found that Mexico called it Epiphany and their traditions. This is also the same celebration which called for the "maskers ball" in Romeo and Juliet.

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The masks are not distinct as you would think. A group of about four females are wearing them. the costumes are not cat-like, but rather gowns. They all look the same and come just a bit before the song ends and The Red Death makes his appearance.

This is an inside tribute to ALW's long running Cats, which was beat out by The Phantom of the Opera.
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Something else to think about: Why does the opera house have bits of Greek mythology molded into its architectures? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:44 am

Lol.....every weekend I come home from the hospital I watch the movie. I'll try and catch the cat ladies. I'm not surprised that ALW would throw that in there. One huge difference I notice is The Red Death. The book and the movie are nothing alike, plus the book has the note on his cape. But, it wouldn't work in the movie, and Gerard looks so yummy Smile
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As for the date of the masquerade, you are quite right.....Twelfth Night, Epiphany, Old Christmas day, the day the 3 wise men arrived. We used to live in Regina, and there was a large Ukranian population there, and Old Christmas Day was widely celebrated. I did not know that the same applies to Romeo and Juliet (haven't seen that in ages).
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As for the Greek mythology in the Opera House, I don't have a direct answer, but often the theater is related to Greek mythology. The 2 masks, happy and sad that are very often seen in theaters, are Greek. I just assume that most theaters, Opera houses, anywhere where they perform would all have some type of reference to Greek mythology.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:41 pm

Of course we didn't want to cover all the good parts of Gerry with a cloak and all. Very Happy That's why his Red Death looked more sexy than scary. The stage version is much like the novel.

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Should you read or watch Romeo and Juliet they mention the Maskers Ball. It celebrates the same.

*********************

Aside from the typical use of images from Greek mythology
in buildings of that time, such symbolized the story of Phantom, whether Persephone/Hades or Helen of Troy, we see the story of Erik and Christine, don't we?

***********************************

After you look for the cats in the Masquerade, here is something else:

In the novel Christine and Raoul pretend to be engaged for a month before he's shipped out. In the 2004 film, Christine accepts Raoul's proposal of marriage, but wants to keep it a secret. In any event, Christine appears to want to be Raoul's wife, but in secret.

Why does she do this instead of eloping with Raoul? This sounds like a similar question previously asked, but the twist is what did she really fear? Did she fear the wrath of Erik or of hurting his feelings? Why didn't she confide in someone else in the opera house? Why only Raoul?

Think, think... scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:59 am

So, Gerard should never be covered up too much, we know that for a fact Smile It would just be a crime Razz

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Romeo and Juliet is a wonderful story and I believe that I have the original novel kicking around somewhere, but I have way too much Phantom stuff to read and go through yet, before I change topics!

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I just recently bought the 2-disc special edition DVD of Phantom. I was able to watch all the extra bonus features, which were incredibly interesting. In response to your question about Christine wanting to marry Raoul but not eloping and keeping it secret, something was mentioned in one of the bonus features which made a lot of sense to me. People often criticize Gerard as the Phantom. They believe that the part could have gone to someone who was better trained in singing etc. AWL and the others working on the film made it quite clear that they chose Gerard because of his more rugged, rock and roll type singing voice. To me, and I have seen the stage performance, Gerard's performance adds a really raw, sexual component to the Phantom that I didn't get from the performance. It's here that the DVD mentioned that Christine was torn between the "proper" choice in Raoul, or her more sexual choice of the Phantom. Are we not all torn between the two sometimes? I have dealt with this and talked about this many times with others......the idea of the bad boy. I for one tend to gravitate towards the bad boys, though often they are not the right choice for me. It's almost like she doesn't want to lose that option. We see in the graveyard that she could not bear for Raoul to kill the Phantom. I think that's why. Regardless of how insane we are lead to believe he is, Christine still fancies him and his dangerousness.

Sorry, kind of went off there. I do believe that Christine was hoping to spare feelings in keeping her engagement secret. She may have thought he would kill Raoul, he would certainly be capable. I am getting ready to reread Leroux's novel, a version a little different from the one I already read. In the book, is Christine as close to Meg as we are lead to believe in the movie? I always wondered why she didn't confide in Meg, save for the Angel of Music song as they are walking back from the chapel. You would think that she would confide more in her since they have been close for years, and yet she confides in Raoul whom she hasn't seen since they were children. Intersting choice.

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While watching the bonus footage from the movie, I heard someone (or more than one, I'm not 100% sure), talking about how the book is difficult to follow at times. Having only read it once, I believe this to be true. Do you think the movie is easier to follow? I mean, it is easier, but to someone who has never seen the movie or the performance, do you think they would understand it all from the first watching? I've seen it so often now that I can't be a good judge of that. I know you are left asking questions throughout, until Mme Giry tells her tale. What do you think? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:09 am

Glad you were able to see the bonus material on disk two of Phantom.

In the book, Christine had no close friends and no family. She was not close to Meg, because of the age difference. Meg was twelve or thirteen and Christine was twenty. According to Leroux, Christine feared Erik when she was not in a trance. The way he said things, his sudden shouting or threats and change in moods made her wring her hands and try to crack her own skull open. For this reason, she kept the engagement a secret, assuming Raoul would leave with his regiment anyway. Perhaps she figured if she married Raoul and he shipped out, Erik would find her and ...I dread to think of the consequences. pale

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The movie stands alone. One does not have to read the novel to understand what the movie is about, however, depending on the translation, the book can be a bit unclear. I had to go back an reread a number of sentences. The Lowell Baird translation is done so in American English, which was very easy to understand. Lastly, the new translation by Officer is very easy to understand as well.

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Leroux said Erik got into the cab and that was the last time the Persian ever saw him. Do you really believe Erik died at that time or perhaps he just went away and hid? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:55 am

I already have 2 translations of Leroux's novel, but will likely be growing my collection to include those you mentioned. I haven't started reading the newest one yet.....I have so much Phantom to read...."Phantom" by Susan Kay, "The Phantom of Manhattan" by Frederic Forsythe, etc etc. But that's not going to stop me. With my memory as poor as it is, it's hard for me to remember the smaller details of the book. Christine's background for example, I didn't remember that, no family, no friends. I find Christine to be so incredibly naive in the book, thinking that the Phantom would never find out about her "engagement" to Raoul. I guess we'll never know what she was really thinking.

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I don't believe that Erik died after seeing the Persian for the last time. Same goes for the movie, he didn't die. However, in either case, where would he have gone? His home has been in the bowels of the Opera house his entire life. Where could he have gone? Do you think it possible that over time he would return to the Opera house, after things calmed down? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:04 pm

Small details are difficult for any of us to recall, unless you've read it four or five times and have analyzed it upside down and sideways as I have. Laughing

Remember when Christine's father died, Mme. Valarius died as well. Her mother was already in heaven, so no family. Not once did Leroux say she had any friends. She even feared talking to Raoul. A reminder, in those days, a woman alone, meaning no family or husband, was easy prey. Any man could claim her, as the Phantom did.

I believe part of her knew Erik would find out her secrets, but again, like a child, she pushed him to the limit, just to see how far she'd get. Shocked

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For me, if Erik didn't die as we assume from the novel, then I'm sure he remained somewhere below the fifth cellar. There were many places for him to hide.

As for the 2004 film, same deal. The place was a maze, a labyrinth. Where couldn't he go? Remember, the remains of the prisons from the Franco-Prussian war yet smoldered away in the same vicinity. Unsure

Whether Erik died shortly after he released Christine and Raoul, or much later, I'm sure he lived the rest of his life sad and alone, just as we would have imagined poor unhappy Erik.

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No trivia or question, but a thought. With all the sadness, hate and obsession felt in the Opera House do you suppose that the "souls" Emmy Rossum mentioned in the extras from disk two of the two disk DVD collection of Phantom, could be some resembling Erik, Christine and Raoul? Perhaps a good question to ask the employees of the Paris Opera is have you seen or heard anything out of the ordinary? Perhaps a fleeting shadow or an unexplained black mass with an eerie glint of gold watching, ever watching...? What a Face affraid
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:28 pm

I agree with what you say about Christine acting as a child would, pushing limits to see how far she could go. It's a shame that back then she would have been easy prey, simply because much misfortune had happened in her family. Thank goodness that has changed.

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I guess I never realized exactly how extensive that the underground labrynthe was. It could be quite likely that he continued to hide away down there. I suppose it wouldn't be that hard for him to return to his lair, since likely people would have lost interest after a time and wouldn't have been down there much. I'm sure he had some type of warning system that would alert him if anyone was coming anyway. What a heartbreaking end to Erik's life. Whether he died shortly after releasing Christine, or if he continued to live, his life would have ended with him sad and alone. He had no hope after that of being happy. Do you suppose he could have ended his own life? Unsure

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It's funny that you mention the "souls" Emmy mentioned in the bonus footage. I picked up on that pretty quick. I just reread Ladyghost's interview with Leroux's great-granddaughter, and she was very certain that Erik, Christine, Raoul, they all existed. In my opinion, it would not be a stretch at all to believe that Erik's soul was still tied to the Opera house. It was his home. I'm sure there are other souls as well that would remain at the Opera house. I imagine that Buquet wasn't the only one that died there (that was in the book, right?) drunken And I wouldn't be surprised to see Christine there either, though she went on to have another life far from the Opera house, much happened there that may connect her. I would love to make another trip to Paris, now that I'm obsessed with the Phantom. What a different trip that would be. I'd spend my whole time in the Opera house, talking to anyone I could! I'm curious to know what your opinion is on this topic scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:12 pm

When you reread the original novel, you will see from the description of the area where the lair existed that it was vast. The the prison and the fact Erik could keep the horse down there gave the reader an idea of how big it was.

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Personally, I don't believe in ghosts in the same way most people do. I know spirits exist and do haunt areas of tragedy and bloodshed, but I do not say they are the spirits of the dearly departed.

Having said that, I am sure the Paris Opera, as the opera house is now called, and many old edifices like it are plagued with such hauntings. This was why the employee talking to Emmy Rossum mentioned the many "souls" wandering the building. Certainly such a public place has seen hatred, loneliness and death.

Of course, I would love to tour the Paris Opera. I understand there is a walking tour one can book, which is based on Phantom of the Opera.

When Carrie Hernandez visited the place, only one employee would talk to her about the Phantom and she verified his existence.

So much to think about. scratch

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Here is more to contemplate. Do you think Erik was the antagonist and Raoul the protagonist in the Phantom triangle?

Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:39 pm

I will admit, I had to get my dictionary out to remember which was which. This is a loaded question. A protagonist is often defined as the hero of the story, and in POTO, Raoul does fit that description better than Erik. However, Erik was there first, and it was Raoul that came along and messed things up and started the love triangle, so wouldn't that make him the antagonist? At first glance, it seems like Raoul is the protagonist and Erik is the antagonist; Raoul is good, Erik is bad. But I'm not sure I believe that. Maybe I'm completely wrong, I don't know. What do you think???

I can't ask another question right now, because I'm having a hard time remember what we've already discussed, and I don't want to be repeating myself. Now that I'm rereading Leroux's novel, I will hopefully come up with some new insights cat cat cat cat (that's for my 4 cats....they say hi!)
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:48 am

This is actually a trick question. Phantom of the Opera does not really follow the traditional or standard style of writing. Erik and Raoul were rivals, but you cannot clearly or truthfully call either one a villain or hero.

In many ways, Erik was a victim. Poor unhappy Erik actually never meant to hurt anyone. Being lonely, physically challenged by his looks, and abused because of them, this dear creature grew to untold heights in knowledge and skills of many things; one of which was music.

No matter what some may feel about Raoul, the poor man didn't really save Christine and he didn't cause her grief. The way she jerked him around emotionally, one could say he was a victim as well.

****************************************

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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:17 pm

I agree that this story does not follow the regular pattern of writting. And perhaps that's why this story has continued to be loved by many for nearly 100 years.
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Fay, somewhere recently, I had mentioned little Phantoms running around, and you said that you believed that the deformity that the Phantom was born with may have also caused him to be sterile. Through all the many movie versions, we see different levels of deformation. In the horrible 1962 (?) version, he is burned by acid. In the 2004 version, we can assume he was born with the deformity, but it also resembles more of a burn than a severe deformity. I believe that Leroux's Erik would likely have had more of a deformity than most others have portrayed. So I think Gerik and Christine's kids would have been gorgeous Smile
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Here's a quick question for you that has bugged me since the first time I watched the 2004 movie. In the graveyard scene, when Raoul disarms the Phantom (ugh!), Christine saves his life. After they ride off, the Phantom says "Now, let it be war upon you both." I find it funny that he would declare war on Christine as she has just saved his life. I can see he may be a little pissed that she rode off with Raoul, but that's a little harsh, do you think?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:21 pm

Most people don't consider the gravity of Erik's deformity which cursed him from birth. With such a severely disfigured face and a body so thin he looked like a "living corpse", I feel this would affect his ability to have children. If it didn't, I think he would have had some from a women in Persia, but Daroga mentions none.

I knew a man who was born with a hunchback. It caused him many medical problems, one of which affected that area.

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When the Phantom declared war upon Raoul and Christine, why would you think it harsh? The man bore his soul to the woman. All of his music, time and love went to her all those years. He ate, slept and breathe the woman. And yet, she unmasked him without hesitation and humiliated him. Knowing how he felt about her, she conspired to run off with the young Vicomte and literally did so in the cemetery. Harsh, you say? Have you ever had someone you loved and trusted dash your heart to a million pieces? Did they humiliate and use you? If you answered yes to any one of these, the word harsh would never come to mind in view of the pain this poor man endured.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:56 pm

See, part of me agrees with you. Like I said, I don't blame him for being upset with her, upset at her running off with Raoul. I just find it interesting that he curses her right after she saves his life. At this point she has yet to unmask and humiliate him in front of everyone. Perhaps he would have been better off had Raoul killed him in the graveyard?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:25 pm

Remember, she unmasked him in the lair. That was a personal humiliation. When someone has been hurt deeply, even a good act, like life saving, will look like she had ulterior motives. At that moment, he couldn't see anything but riding off with the man he despised.

The the Phantom felt at the time, he might have agreed with you and welcomed death to unrequited love. But then, he didn't really see Christine's true motives.

Nothing did she say when the Phantom cut Raoul's arm, but she nearly went into hysterics when Raoul drew his back to kill the man she truly loved. I love you
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:31 pm

I think deep down, Christine wants to be with Erik. But Raoul is the safer road. She sings with Meg in the movie that she's frightened by it all. It'd be interesting to know how things would have happened had Raoul not shown up. I think that's what we see in the graveyard.....when Phantom cuts Raoul, Christine doesn't really care, but she would never allow Raoul to kill him. Yet rides away with the pansy.

I wonder if in the years after the Opera house burns down and Christine and Raoul are married, I wonder how often she thinks of the Phantom, of how she should have chosen him not Raoul. Sigh. I guess we'll never know Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:00 am

During the years Raoul and Christine were married, from the way Patrick Wilson portrayed the Vicomte, I would say they had a loving and full life, even if ALW plans to ruin my assumption with his dreaded sequel.

Old Raoul in the 2004 film seemed to grieve deeply for his wife and lover, as he pays homage to her by offering a gift which once belonged to his rival, the Phantom. Through the entire film, we relive the love triangle through flashbacks in the mind of the saddened Vicomte. Oh, how he loved his Little Lottie!

Christine may have mentioned selected events which pertained to the Phantom, but most of all, the music box shaped as a barrel organ with the figure of a monkey in Persian robes playing the cymbals. This she must have loved because of its symbol of innocence, security, and love a young boy once sought comfort from. This must have impressed her most of all.

According to this version, both men loved her beyond eternity, enough to give their lives for her. In memory, she lived with one never allowing him to forget that she saved him is so many ways. Literally, she lived as wife to the other, saving him as well.

From what I see, Christine and Raoul lived a happy life together, with only selected mentions of the Phantom. Love endures all, and lives forever!
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:50 pm

Sigh....all I can picture now is the Phantom sitting in his lair over the years, listening to his music box, and thinking of Christine. Whether Erik or Gerik, how heartbreaking is this?

Curiosity is part of human nature. I would find it hard to believe that Raoul could not ask Christine questions about the time she spent with the Phantom, be it 3 months or 9 years. And I'm sure part of Christine would have wanted to tell some of the stories that stick out in her mind.

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Here's an interesting thought (well, to me, anyway). In the 2004 movie, the Phantom killed Joseph Buquet for telling false stories about him. This angered Gerik. However, wouldn't these scary stories help to keep people from searcing out the Phantom of the Opera? The way Buquet was describing him, I wouldn't want to go looking for him. But, that's just me Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Today at 5:21 pm

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