Alright, it seems we are once again dealing with The Phantom of the Opera, and the confusing details therein. Not just the movie, but the musical itself.
Now, before we begin, let me just warn you. I will not discuss Gerard Butler in this article. I’ve already said all I have to say on the subject last time. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do so here. If you are reading this because you want to see me rage about Butler and his portrayal as the Phantom, you will be disappointed.
With that out of the way, let’s begin.
Now, my main issue today concerns Don Juan Triumphant, the opera which the phantom presents to the theater managers in the musical.
My issue with this is twofold. The first part is simple. The opera makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE WHAT SO EVER!
Let’s go over the lyrics, detailing the plot of the opera.
Passarino: Your young guest believes I’m you,
I, the master, you the man.
Don Juan: When you met, you wore my cloak,
With my scarf you hid your face.
She believes she dines with me
In her master’s borrowed place!
[…] Passarino: I come home, I use your voice, slam the door like crack of doom.
Don Juan: I shall say: “come – hide with me! Where, oh, where? Of course – my room!”
You follow that? Here, let me break it down for you. Don Juan (A) wants to sleep with the maiden Aminta (B) and asks his servant Passarino (C) for help. So A sends C to B, dressed as A, so B will think C is actually A, inviting her to dinner. Except C hid his face so B wouldn’t notice C not being A, despite B presumably never having met either A or C, seeing as A’s entire plan would fall apart otherwise. A will then pretend to be C during the dinner with B, with C coming home pretending to be A, so A can take B into his chamber which presumably in reality belongs to C, and sleep with B.
At this point, Travis (T) really feels like finding Andrew Lloyd Webber (L) and beat him over the head with a shovel (S)!
WHY THE FUCK DOES HE SEND PASSARINO IN DISGUISE!? Why doesn’t he go in disguise himself?! Why is he in disguise at dinner? In fact, why a disguise at all?! If she is familiar with Don Juan to the point he has to disguise himself, wouldn’t she find it strange that she was invited to Don Juans home by a man who refused to show his face at any point, and sounds radically different at dinner compared to when he invited him?! This makes no sense!
And I wouldn’t be so annoyed by this, if they didn’t go out of their way to explain what the fucking plan was! Andrew Lloyd Webber sat down, read this, and decided “Yes, this makes perfect sense to me.”
But hey, I suppose it’s ok if it’s a bit nonsensical. You could argue that the opera is just a means to an end for the Phantom. It’s just a way for him to get Christine. It’s not like he spent a long time on this opera or anything…
Oh wait, that’s right…
See, my second issue with the Opera in the musical is that it’s completely missing the point of the Opera from the book!
In the book, you know what Don Juan Triumphant is? It’s the Phantom’s Magnum fucking Opus! He has spent over 20 years writing it, and when it’s first introduced, he claims that when it is finished, he will be finished with life. The opera itself is encapsulating his loneliness, his sorrow, his suffering, his hopes and his dreams!
At one point, Christine asks him to play some of it. His response:
You must never ask me that. […] I will play you Mozart, if you like, which will only make you weep; but my Don Juan, Christine, burns.
That’s what the opera is! The Phantoms soul, lain bare in the medium of an operatic score that “Makes pain divine”.
But why keep that, when you can just make it a nonsensical mess that he cobbled together in six month, as part of a plan to get to Christine!
Not to mention that the ONLY REASON this plan worked at all, is because apparently, nobody in the fucking audience could tell that the Phantom took Piangis place!
Which, again, wouldn’t bother me, if they didn’t outright state IN THE FUCKING MUSICAL, that they would have people with guns around, and the entire production was for the express purpose of taking out the phantom!
The one reason this thing is happening, and nobody notices the Phantom, on stage, singing?!
Everyone involved in this is an idiot!
Well, this turned out to be a slightly shorter post than I thought it would be… Who knows, I might return to this subject somewhere down the line.
Assuming, of course, that I haven’t been beaten to death for daring to criticize Andrew Lloyd Webber, while also being lenient on Gerard Butler…