Begins when an opera ghost terrorizes the cast and crew of the French Opera House while tutoring a chorus girl. He finally drives the lead soprano crazy so she and her friend leave. The girl is able to sing lead one night but the soprano doesn’t want her show stolen so she comes back. The ghost demands they keep giving his protégé lead roles. Meanwhile, His pupil falls in love with the Vicomte de Chagny, but the Phantom is in love with Christine, his student. The Phantom is outraged by their love and kidnaps Christine to be his eternal bride. Will Raoul, the Vicomte, be able to stop this dastardly plan?
I think some other comments here are harsh, especially towards the performance of Emmy Rossum, who I thought made the film. Her performance visually (i.e. expressions etc) is mesmerizing. I’m sure a lot of this is down to Joel Schumacher who successfully steers the film away from just putting the stage show on to film, but has actually created something powerful in its own right, so I believe comparisons of the stage show to film are unreasonable.
My only niggles are technicalities, the Phantom wears a mask which only goes just above his eyebrows in the Ball scene (and shows no deformation) and yet when the normal white mask is removed later the entire left side of his face is deformed. The lip sync hing is often poor, especially in ‘Think of Me’ which is disappointing, especially in the knowledge that all but Minnie Driver recorded their own singing parts anyway.
The Soundtrack has been given a spring clean and it really benefits from it, removing some of the synthesized feel of the original and giving it much more of an orchestral grandeur.
All in all, this film really took me by surprise. As I said above Stage to Screen comparisons do feel somewhat inappropriate with this film, but I was never that fussed about Phantom before or after seeing it on Broadway. I can safely say that this film has converted me.