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Hiya Gals,

After listening to the debate on GBcast about this topic, I thought it might be fun to continue the discussion on the board. So based on the Film version of POTO starring Gerry.... who would you have chosen.

The Phantom: The dark enigmatic wounded soul; a man of great passion and musical genius. A man just this side of dangerous. A man who obviously has "issues"?

or

Raoul de Chagny: The romantic hero; straightforward and trustworthy. From a good family. Emotionally balanced and well adjusted. Committed, dashing and moral.

Please discuss. Here are some thoughts, are we talking in "real life?" or are we talking in fantasy? I leave that choice up to you. I will post my comments later.

Swan

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Hey ladies, let's hear some discussion on this before it drops off the board! I have much to say regarding this topic, but I am waiting for others to share their thoughts first.

Anyone?

Edited by Swansong
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oooh good one bonnie anne! there's a similar type of thread on gb.net which i loved but i like the fact your focusing on the movie- which i think makes it easier.

I must admit i am one for a challenge, i would choose Phantom over Raoul mainly because of his floors- which can easily be put down to me being a complete emotional freak show and my choice of men; as simple as that. I feel a connection with him; wanting to be loved but being scared of rejection and feeling like an outsider in a world of beautiful people are just two of the reasons. There are times when all i want is to be alone in my room away from everything and then times when all i want to do is be around people- which usually happens when i cant. I'm an emotional person with an extreme personality and very hard work sometimes- its gonna take a brave man to tame me one day!

In a fantasy world it would be the Phantom without hesitation or thought there's something about him, his innocence and at the same time dark dangerous side draws me too him. i don't think its just the whole thing about women fancying the bad boys, its something more which i can only describe as a connection- words just can't explain it. its not pity i know that much- arghhhh! i hate describing things!

Raoul would be the better choice just like he was for Christine- only i cant see myself being with someone like him, he's just too nice. Of course, nice is good, its always best but it's gonna take a man that won't let me walk over him to make me happy- someone i can admire for their strong personality and knows their own mind. I think i'd end up snapping at him alot (blame it on my increasingly volatile temper i guess) he's so patronising and calm. The calm thing should be good, as well as him being emotionally balanced an all that, to look after me but it would honestly wind me up. i'm a independent and passionate person and i think we'd be polar opposites and just clash. i hate being mollycoddled (even by my mum), my friends say i'm like a cat- i'll welcome affection when i want it and only when i want it. i might seem horrible to you guys but i think its because i truly fear intimacy- which i know would mean that Raoul would be better for me, him being patient an all; yet the phantom, the phantom just seems right. he'd make me face my fears instead of pussy footing around me.

Argh its so confusing!!! i know i should choose Raoul but my heart says Erik everytime.

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Fantastically expressed comments HB! I really enjoyed reading your posts and will reply at length later.

Yes, I think it is best to discuss this from the standpoint of the movie alone, since some folks have neither seen the BW show, or read Leroux's book. That puts us all on equal footing. Check back later HB, I hope to give this some thought before posting my opinion!

Love,

Swan

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Well, if we're only going to be permitted to discuss this from the perspective of the film, I'm afraid that leaves me out. I informed a great deal of my opinion as a result of having read the book long before seeing the film or the play. Ergo, that opinion has colored my feelings about both of the other media.

C'est la vie.

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I know what you mean Fiona. I Have seen all versions of the film, read the book and saw the BW show, so that can't help but color my perspective. I hate to see anyone left out of the discussion, but the movie is quite different form Leroux's concept. Maybe it would be best to discuss this from any perspective, or media we choose. Go ahead Fiona, share your thoughts.

Swan

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I'm so glad you created this thread, Swan. I was wishing the whole time during the GBCast that I could throw my opinion in LOL. ::D:

Personally, had I been Christine, I would have chosen the Phantom. I fell in love with his passion and his soul from the very beginning.

If you look at this story from the movie's version only and don't factor in any other versions of it (book, musical etc), I sensed (and i believe Gerry says something to this degree in an interview) Christine had a very sexual, sensual , deep connection with the Phantom on every single level.

With Raoul, it felt more innocent and safe; cardboard.

Her relationship with the phantom, had she stayed with him, wouldn't have been accepted by society, however. They could never have had a normal marriage by the standards of the time period. Now perhaps in an alternate reality (if those two buffoons who bought the opera house hadn't mucked everything up and just left box 5 open) they prolly could have married and He would have stayed in the catacombs, and she possibly could have joined him below each night (I had a dream the other night which gave the Phantom a really good ending, and i'd be more than happy to share if anyone wants to hear --warning: it might wind up being an almost fanfiction-length post LOL). I'm an optimist, though. I believe in the power of love: if there's love, there's a way. :inlove:

All Phantom wanted was compassion and love and from just one person, and she basically fed him to the wolves. I think he truly loved Christine, in the only way he knew how, and had set all his hopes on her. He felt that she was the ONE person who could truly understand him, that he could open his heart to and not fear that she would run from him or fear him as everyone has his entire life. So, when Raoul stepped into the picture and Christine latched onto the familiar (and serene -Raoul reminded me of a Greek Statue) I can understand why he went a bit mad. He must have felt gutted on that roof top during the lover's uh...lament...and I can't even find words to describe the look on his face when she ripped the mask off in front of the entire theater. I can't even watch that scene without swearing up a storm because it's just *SO* utterly CRUEL. And it must have been killing him to know he placed his heart in her hands, yet Christine couldn't overcome her fear to see the man within. I think the love and passion were there, but she was so afraid of it, she did what everyone else expected of her. The moment when she wakes up in the Phantom's cavern and comes up to him as he's sitting at the organ/piano, she's fascinated in him as a man. Intrigued, attracted, curious. There was more passion and excitement in her in that moment than any scene with Raoul :laugh4: . In Point of No Return, she looked horribly sorry for what she was about to do just before she ripped the mask off, but she went on stage as part of a plan to catch the Phantom so did what she did out of fear of what would happen if he wasn't stopped. I don't think she even tried to understand him even once. Very sad. But, for a few moments in his arms, I think she did allow herself to just truly feel, forget her fear, and not think. I believe that passion she displayed on stage was REAL, not just acting, and Raoul knew it because he did tear up like he thought he was gonna lose her after all.

As for the murders, I can fully understand why he killed his abuser/jailer as a kid: that cruel man would have beat him to death before ever giving him freedom. I can also understand why he killed Joseph, in a way. Joseph was determined to catch him and rat him out, and the Phantom's way of surviving all this time was his ability to live in the shadows and remain a mystery to those who would otherwise treat him with cruelty etc. So I believe the Phantom perceived Joseph as a great threat in that moment, and any human being would do whatever was necessary to eliminate a threat to themselves and their home. I don't believe he'd have killed Joseph if Joseph hadn't been running around the rafters after him. I don't think he intended for anyone to die that night--just to stir things up by ruining Carlotta's voice so Christine had to take over. The only death I couldn't fully justify/understand was Piangi's. Why couldn't he have simply hit him over the head with something to knock him out for the duration and then tie him up? I suppose he was just over the edge at that point and figured "they already think i'm a murderer. I've nothing else left to really lose at this point." Or perhaps pudgy Piangi had a backbone after all and put up such a fight the Phantom couldn't just do a good TKO.

The two scenes that clinched it for me, though, were the kiss scene and the monkey music box. The kiss, thought it was hot and sexy *fans self*, got to me because of his reaction. He'd never before experienced anything so intimate and in that moment loved her so much, he couldn't force her to tie herself down to "a monster". He also had too much regret/remorse for all the things he'd done in that moment to be truly psycho (also she went in for seconds.. the first kiss may have been to save raoul, but that second kiss was truly real...). The monkey music box scene just gutted me. He was such a lost little boy and broken hearted man there, knowing he'd have to live the rest of life alone. If I'd been Christine in that moment, I couldn't have walked away. I'd have run to him, kissed those tears away, and told him he'd never be alone again. :kisswink: I would've had to take the chance with Phantom and see where it led. Being a Scorpio, like Gerry, I thrive on passion. Maybe I'd have gotten burned in the end, but I'd never have regretted making that choice. He might have been a bit violent, and had a temper, but he would NEVER have hurt Christine.

And I still feel if Christine hadn't been afraid of her passion (ok i know she was young, back off), and would have followed her true feelings for Phantom (and tried to understand him), he wouldn't have gone off the deep end because she wouldn't have been with Raoul. Ok I'm reaching, but still... If it were me, I'd have gone for the Phantom. :bleh:

Edit: Wow I wrote a novel didn't I? LOL!

Edited by StarDust767
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Thanks, Swan.

My perspective is that, regardless of what I would do given *modern* mores (and please understand that I have been mad about Erik since I first read LeRoux), what I would have done in Victorian times would have been significantly different. LeRoux's novel is a social commentary about the shallowness of Victorian times, first of all. So, with that in mind ...

I'd have to go with what was socially and familialy appropriate for the period in question. That would mean, regardless of other feelings, making a "proper match." Women did not have the right to own property, including the clothes on their back, during that time. They were chattel. If I wanted to survive, I would have to take all of that into account. That would mean becoming Madame de Chagny.

Nowadays, though, I would most assuredly choose Erik. The character just owns my soul. :inlove: :mopboyerik: :mopboyreddeath: :erikrose: :gerik: :reddeath: :Erikunmasked:

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SD and Fiona... wow, I'm so impressed with your comments, I hardly know how to address them. You've certainly thought this issue through! Please, no one apologize for lengthy posts! I think it's fascinating to really dissect this topic and get under the skin of Phantom, so to speak.

I agree SD that the bit with Piangi doesn't quite make sense, and that element does bother me in ALW's version. His motivation for murder seems weak, at best.

I have so much to say, but am heading off to see a movie with hubby! I hope to add my own lengthy post later and bring out some of the salient points you have all brought up!

Thanks for joining in the discussion, and please feel free to post as many times as you like!

Swan

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Stardust you and I are of the same mind--you echo so much of what I think about this.

I'm only going to comment on Christine at this point--there is so much to think about with both Raoul and Phantom so I'll post more about what I think about them later on. But, re Christine....

Viewing from Christine's POV and her age, I think it was a given that she would always go with Raoul. Having been childhood sweathearts, knowing him and trusting him, and loving him, and even seeing him as more of a father-figure.

The scene in Music of the Night is more fascination than passion. She even faints at the sight of her likeness in a wedding dress. She then starts to realize that he isn't sent to her by her father but someone with an obsession for her. :gerik:

The scene on the roof after Joseph's death she says that she has had enough of darkness having realized that Phantom isn't sent to her by her father at all but a man whose strange hold over her is in part only in her mind because of what her father's dying words. And, I think that is when she makes a conscious decision to choose Raoul. Phantom had no way of knowing about their previous connection. And, he is devistated by what she says to Raoul. :erikrose:

Part of her is still obsessed by Phantom but any possible feelings of love have turned to pitty and perhaps some loyalty issues of having given to her her voice/music.

I end up totally hating her for what she did in Point of No Return -- I will never be sure if she was really overcome with passion or it was all an act to trap and expose Phantom. The only thing that puts a little doubt in my mind is the look on Raoul's face since he's not sure either if she is acting. But, the look in Phantom's eyes when she rips his mask off just kills me. I have to stop the DVD every time and cry, cry, cry. It just breaks my heart.

In the cave when she kisses Phantom I think it is out of pity and to save Raoul. I think she gives him the ring out of pity--I don't see any love in her heart for Phantom at all by then. She has pity for him but she also hates him for the killings and knows that he will kill Rauol if she doesn't agree to stay with him. :Erikunmasked:

Okay, now I have to go have a good cry.... :tissues:

Donna

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I'll go with what Stardust said. You can't go wrong there.

I didn't feel that there was any passion or chemistry between Christine and Raoul at all. The impression I got was that they were together out of duty and obligation, nothing more nothing less. He didn't *love* her becasue he came across as way too proper and prudish for that type of behavior, whether in public or private. If he did love her, it was more like that of brother/sister. But society, especially in that time and really up until fairly recently in history, didn't ever allow a woman to make a single decision on her own, much less who she was going to marry, because men always decided that, whether they had any true romantic feelings for the woman or not. In more cases than not, there was no chemistry or romance between partners, since it was often about business arrangements and whatnot instead.

The difference with the Phantom is that he somewhat allows her the opportunity to think and act for herself, whereas she would never have that opportunity if she were to stay with Raoul. I can see where the Phantom would come across as scary, obsessive, dangerous, etc to her or anyone else. But she's the first person he's trusted to open up that vulnerable part of himself to. So when she betrays him, it's perfectly justifiable why he reacted how he did. But being young and naive, she doesn't realize what she threw away until it's too late. Had she chosen to be with him through thick and thin, I believe they would have been happy. He would have been good to her like no one else was capable of, regardless of his past. And she would have loved him unconditionally like no one could or would. But she was too young to fully understand that. Which is part of my belief that nowadays anyway, no one should jump into a relationship or marriage without having some life experience and brains under their belt first. But I realize that the former wasn't an option for her in that time period.

Passion or safety, which to go with? I've been in Christine's shoes so I know what that battle is like. Safety is familiar and comfortable, but it isn't healthy at all. Plus it's not all that it's cracked up to be. Passion is the healthier of the two. It's better to take a risk and get burned for it and basically live, than to watch from the sidelines and wonder "what if I followed my heart instead of duty?" Of the two options, I would have to go with the Phantom and passion.

Edited by Sirena
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Sooooooooooo...Swan...? Is this a trick question???

I cannot imagine anyone choosing Raoul over the Erik!!! What an insipid, annoying, "insolent boy, this slave of fashion" he is! I have no interest whatsoever in that prat--he has about as much depth and passion as a piece of doughy, under-baked white bread. Even though I must think in terms of the fantasy/times of the film, I don't think that my character and sensibilities would be that much different as a Victorian GAL--even in modern times, I've never taken the "safe" path, or had the luxury of giving a damn what others think.

As such, my response to the Phantom (if I were Christine)...

...is immediate, visceral, deeply passionate, and one of the utmost devotion. He has been "the Angel of Music singing songs in my head" for a long, long time, after all: my inspiration, my guide, and the embodiment of "true beauty." It is true that I once confused him with my beloved father, whom I have missed terribly, but I knew that my father was dead, and I still believe that perhaps my father is sending his love and inspiration to both of us through the unique bond that binds us together. My love for my beloved Phantom seems to have had no beginning, as if I have always loved him, even before I even knew he was real. He has always felt like part of the fabric of my very soul and sensibilties--especially part of my twilight, dreaming self--always a part of me.

As for the material concerns...I've been living a very simple life since I came to live in the Ballet dormitory, and I am not in the least seduced by the promise of wealth and position. I frankly don't want to be a "slave of fashion" myself, and it is is a pale substitute for the power of the Phantom, which radiates warmth, passionate sexuality, and freedom. Yes, freedom! I can imagine flinging that blasted corset into the canal, and "surrendering to my darkest dreams, leaving all thought to the world I knew before." With the Phantom, there is beauty, music, and love that will transcend all limitations. (Besides, we have plenty! Erik hasn't been spending much of that $20,000 francs/mo he's been getting for years...!) In time, his heart and spirit will heal through our mutual love and devotion, and we'll emerge from the dungeon to make a new life elsewhere. He won't need the Opera House in which to hide from the world any longer, and we can go far, far away where no one knows us. He will continue to express his genius in whatever way he wishes--he can be an architect, designer, or continue to write, perhaps under a pseudonym, and his work will undoubtedly be realized or performed to much acclaim. I can either keep singing for him alone or for the world, or stay at home raising our beautiful, talented children--whatever he asks of me.

I do realize that Erik's dark history of seclusion and abuse has in led him to seek revenge on those who have harmed him in some way. Joseph B. was not just a fool who insulted him, however, he was also a lewd, dangerous, lecherous peeping tom who put every girl in the dormitories at risk! Who knows how many innocents he had violated! I cannot feel much sympathy for such a cad. I forgive any of Erik's past deeds, perpetrated when his soul was tortured and alone, and I truly believe that those dark days will be left in the past and forgotten. I trust him completely, and I also believe that this was never his true character--simply the only way he learned to survive. Isolation and cruelty lead to madness, but those days are over! Love, time, and prayer heal all wounds...and hearts, and souls.

Ahhhhh yes...these are my own sensibilities projected onto poor Christine, who was just too young to make mature choices of depth and understanding. I still don't get the Raoul thing, but her infatuation with romantic

notions seems age-appropriate, anyway. Yet it is clear that the Phantom did indeed "haunt her until she was dead," not through being spooky but because he was indeed a part of the fabric of her soul, and the depth of magic and passion she experienced with him was never matched by doughy, insipid Raoul, and his doughy, insipid life. She must have understood that what she chose was not all that she imagined it would be in her romantic fantasies of youth, and that she had indeed "turned from true beauty." I like to think that she also realized at some point that the Phantom's sacrifice of love at the end was truly selfless, and that his depth of love for her surmounted his own need for her love to be his salvation. I like to think that the Phantom's presence continued to inhabit her dreams in her most ethereal, twilight moments between sleeping and waking, and that the Angel of Music continued to sing songs in her head.

:erikrose: :hugs: :erikicon:

Kimberley

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I would choose the Phantom. He is just too sexy to resist. I find him very masculine. I know he needs some emotional work but I truly believe he could be helped if someone took the chance. He showed true compassion and love when he let Christine go. After their kiss he did the unselfish act of allowing Christine to leave. I truly believe that the Phantom really loved Christine. He would do anything for her. I never thought he felt that she was a possession to be won but someone that he truly loved. I believe they were soul mates.

Raoul was likeable enough but he was very possessive. Also, I hated the way he used Christine as bait to catch the Phantom. If he truly loved her he would not have done so. I would not want the man I loved to put me in danger...Raoul did. He became obsessed with the Phantom. It was almost as if he was saying "I am a viscount and no one will take what I want." But in Raoul's heart he knew that Christine did not love him not the way she loved the Phantom. I believe he realized that when she was having a good old time with the Phantom on stage.

The Phantom at no time forced himself upon Christine. She never attempted to get away from him no matter where they were together.

Also, he didn't visit Christine's grave empty handed...he presented the monkey music box to her. It was pretty obvious to me that the Phantom haunted their marriage. I am sure they had a very cozy life together but I can't imagine Christine feeling the sensual pleasure that she did with the Phantom. I wonder how many times she thought of the Phantom when she should have been thinking about Raoul. LOL.

All in all, I just have to endorse the Phantom especially in a fantasy way. I think the Phantom or Erik is so sweet and just needed a lot of love. He could really have been a wonderful person. Raoul I really never felt I knew him because he was just a rich, stuck up person. And one more thought he reality the Phantom would have kicked Raouls *** in the sword fight.

Give me :mopboyerik: :mopboyerik: :mopboyerik: :mopboyerik: :mopboyerik: :mopboyerik: :mopboyerik:

All the trouble Erik might cause would clearly be forgotten after a night or two in his swan bed. Remember ladies he has had no love. He would definitely want to make up for lost time. :tasty:

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I am so impressed with the caliber of Gerry's fans. You are all such imaginative and intelligent women! Brava!

Now I will add my thoughts, most likely in a series of posts. The Phantom of the Opera is a subject I could write a book about.... oh wait.... I AM writing a book about it.

Okay, let me start by deconstructing the main characters one at a time.

Christine: I'm not sure many of us dig deep enough into Christine's background and fixation on her father, to really grasp her motives and reaction to the events and people in her life. In the Leroux book, Christine's father is presented as a talented but struggling and nearly penniless musician; more of a traveling troubadour than the "famous violinist" he is characterized as in the ALW film. For the sake of argument, I will go with the Leroux version because it takes a good deal for one to become a famous violinist.... not very likely. We know that Christine was raised by her father, presumably without the mother. We know also know that her father was a bit of a dreamer himself, telling his daughter spooky stories and ancient fairy tales. In this regard he set Christine up to believe in the unbelievable, and she holds onto these fanciful beliefs even as she matures into adulthood. Clearly this is not a normal girl. Christine was raised under extraordinary circumstances. First with a father who taught her to believe in angels, and then later in the bizarre and bohemian world of the Opera.

When the Phantom appears in her life (according to the ALW film) after she arrives at the Opera House, she accepts his presence... she believes that he is her father's spirit. In the interim between her 7th year and her 16th, we're not given much information about how their relationship developed, but we see when she is in the chapel, she is anxiously waiting for his presence, and perhaps she has even grown to love him. This girl is 16, and she believes in this supernatural creature... that in itself shows how very immature and somewhat warped she is. Even after her father has been dead for years, she is still fixated on him.... not healthy!

When "the angel" finally makes contact with her through the mirror, she is completely mesmerized, but somewhere along the way, she begins to see that he is not her father or an angel. He is a man, and a scary one at that. Yes she is drawn to him... by hypnosis at first and then he calls forth her "darker side" meaning, her womanly side, her female sexuality and desire. She awakens sexually, but also I think begins to care for him. She sees that he is vulnerable, that he can be hurt, that he gets angry and that he feels as any man does. When she has to admit to herself that he is only a man, she begins to fear what that means, and isn't quite sure how to relate to him.

The Phantom remains a mystical figure in her eyes. And his power is not merely in his stunning and sexual physical presence, but also in his music. He pulls her with it, and that is the soul connection they share. Each time he sings to her, she is utterly lost in his music. It is a language she understands, because she was brought up with it.

When Raoul enters the picture, he is straight forward to her. There is little mystery with Raoul. He is someone she knew as a child when her father was alive, and he represents that wonderful time. I think Christine is initially drawn to Raoul because he is her idea of the handsome hero, but I never really see a spark of passion between them. Even the kiss on the roof seems a bit bland, and when he tries to kiss her again at the end of that scene... she pulls away from him. Why does she do that? The look on his face is one of frustration. Why?

Christine is clearly confused between her feelings for these two men. IMHO, they both have to do with her fixation on her father.

That's all for now. I'll add some more tomorrow. feel free to discuss in the meantime.

Swan

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Oh boy... Swannie, I'm in a mood to write this morning, so prepare yourself...

I tried to put myself in Christine's shoes yesterday when I watched POTO for the umpteenth time. It was my POTO anniversary, so I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the movie that has changed my life so much.

Clearly, Christine was a little bit abnormal. As Swan said, She became fixated on her Father's death and he had really jaded her before he died by telling her stories about this angel of music and promising to send him to her. She was very emothinally unstable and wasn't really living in the here and now. She was really vulnerable and unstable for the whole movie.

Enter Raoul. I'm not really sure you can say 'childhood Sweetheart', but given the benefit of the doubt... They were very good friends growing up and he was pretty OK looking as an adult. Naturally, Christine latched onto him because he had known her father. Christine seemed to grasp onto anyhting that reminded her of her father.

And then The Phantom. He was mysterious and sexy. He awakened parts of her she wasn't previously aware of. Christine was a little fearful of him, but very intrigued. I don't think she was IN LOVE with him, but I think she cared for him. Conversely, I don't think she was IN LOVE with Raoul! I think she was in love with the idea of her father personified in another man. Once again, I contend that Christine is not a stable young lady.

Now, also brought up in the GBCast was the fact that both Crhsitine and Erik had been betrayed by eachother. Christine because she'd been made to believe that Erik was some sort of etheral being with her father's spirit, and Erik because of the removal of the mask during Don Juan. I disagree. Christine was way too impressionable, that's true. But after she found out he was a man and not an angel, She still approached him at the Bal Masque. She was still intrigued by him. How could she not be? And I do not think that the removal of the mask was done to betray him. She removed that mask to save his life. There were guns trained on him at that moment and it was a perfect time for one of those policemen to take him out. If he hadn't been killed, he would have been locked up and she did not want that for him. By removing that mask, she knew he wouldn't stay on stage given his reaction to the removal of his mask in STYDI. (I know, I keep going...) She had no Idea that he would take her through the fire pit and back to the lair. Nor did she know that he had rigged up the chandellier to fall with the cut of a velvet rope.

Passion was lacking with Raoul and was oh so ever present in Erik. I think if it were me, I would have gone with Erik. I'm just that kind of girl. Christine was really tortured because both men reminded her of her father, The Angel he promised her... and the boy who was with them for a summer.

Whew. :mopboyreddeath:

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Thanks for your comments Lish, I have wondered about Christine's motivation in removing the mask the second time as well, because obviously when she removed it the first time, it did NOT please him.

Now some more deconstructing of Christine. In the film during Angel Of Music, Christine tells Meg that she is frightened of the angel, even though she hasn't seen him yet, and their contact has only been with their voices. He has not yet appeared to her in a physical form. She must somehow sense his power and control over her growing already... in his unseen contacts with her, he has already begun to own more of her: (My power over you, grows stronger yet..."

When the angel takes her through the mirror, to me, that is a symbol of birth. She goes with him through a long tunnel, a type of birth canal. When she comes out on the other side into his lair, even her physical appearance has altered. She has gone from a little girl to a woman. Yet what interests me about the MOTN scene is that she is obviously fascinated by him, and doesn't seem afraid of him at all. She is buying the whole thing, until she rips off his mask. But then instead of begging him to take her back, HE is the one who suggests it.

And then again at the Ball, she is absolutely drawn to him, but, the interesting thing about that is, he is not singing to her as she walks up the steps toward him. He is wearing his heart on his sleeve at that point, and even with the mask covering most of his face, his love for her is palpable. Their eyes are totally locked, and she knows he is not her father or the angel.... yet she is still pulled by him. Until he rips off her necklace, she is buying him. It is his anger that breaks the spell once again.

Something else: I think WYWSH is NOT primarily a song about Christine saying goodbye to her father, but Christine's struggle to let go of her angel. By then, she knows he is only a man, but she has been so caught up in her fantasies, she no longer knows what is real and what is not. She is asking her father to help her let go of not only his memory, but also her fixation on the angel..... since he's the one who started it in the first place.

It's kind of like a child when they discover there is no such thing as Santa Clause.... for some it can be devastating. But isn't it interesting that the moment she hears the violin in the graveyard, she follows it. She knows it is NOT her father, but still, she cannot resist that sound. Again, music is a powerful emotional draw for her. This is what connects her and the Phantom in the years before he takes her through the mirror. This is the wordless language spoken between them, and I think we must not underestimate its intimacy.

Don Juan: Very strange scene. What the hell is she up to in that scene? Is she merely play acting in the role of Aminta; doing as she was told in order to capture the Phantom. It is clear by the look on her face, the moment he opens his mouth and sings, she knows who she is. Yet she looks over her shoulder at him as if she's glad it it's him. Through that whole song I believe she allows herself to be overcome by him. She is not merely acting, she is so caught up in him, that for a moment, she forgets where she is and what she is doing. As he holds her in his arms, her eyes are closed and she is totally under his musical, sexual and soulful spell. Then you see her suddenly open her eyes and look back at him. As he begins to sing AIAOY, she realizes where she is and remembers what she is supposed to do. I think she pulls off the mask to break the spell... to put an end to his hold over her. To remind herself who he really is. Yet she regrets it, and she has compassion. She cares for him. Does she love him?

Based on the movie, yes I believe she loves him, but she is not IN love with him. Just like I love Gerry, but I am not IN love with him.

Remember, I am talking about Christine's feelings for the Phantom here, not yours or mine. Okay, more later.....

Swan

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While I don't disagree per se with what people have said in general, I find myself repeating aloud these words: "You can't apply modern mores to other times."

Christine wouldn't have had the kinds of choices that we have nowadays. Chorines were no better than prostitutes, really, as far as society was concerned. She would most likely *not* remain happy in that space, considering that she would not have the opportunities that we take for granted nowadays.

I do think there are some Freudian issues (aside from the Electra complex) at play with Christine's character. Erik/Phantom represents the awakening of her Id ... her sexual side. At a time when women were supposed to be vessels for childrearing and any sign of actual enjoyment of sex was cause for medication because it was an "abnormal excitement for the womb" to have an orgasm, choosing safety and comfort (to say nothing of a socially appropriate marriage) would be very important to her.

It's worth noting that, in the book, Raoul is made keenly aware that if he "lowers himself" to marry Christine that he'll be disinherited. That's how much of a big deal it was socially ... like I said, soubrettes/chorines were viewed as no different from whores (and, in some cases, there *was* no difference). He chooses the disinheritance ... although he gets the familial title when his older brother dies because of the laws concerning primogeniture.

Food for thought, Swansong ... thanks for bringing it up.

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If I were Christine I would have chosen Raoul.

I've always been so damn practical...

Might have had a little Swan-bed fling :cunning:

but I would have definitely floated away with Raoul for a happily ever after. :;):

After all...Raoul never pushed/shoved/pulled/yelled at Christine...

He thought the Phantom was one of her 'flights of fancy', as when they were younger...

Christine was a child (only 16 or 17) in an era when ghosts and supernatural were

readily believed. Her father reinforced fantasy in her (she was only 7 when he died),

so she cherished his memory and what they shared, as it was all she had to remember

him.

Raoul cherished and protected Christine and treated her honestly.

Phantom coveted, bullied and deceived her. He is an accomplished magician and hypnotist.

He was indeed, all 'smoke and mirrors'.

Christine matures in the few short months in which the events transpire, and can snap

herself out of the Phantom's trance.

She is able to see clearly all that the Phantom is; she tries to save Raoul by sacrificing herself; after Raoul and she are released, she has enough maturity to kindly return the ring so that the

Phantom understands that there is no hope of future interaction. She shows compassion, mercy

and love in that gesture.

:rose:

Barb

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Hi Swan and GALS--

I'm at work, so this will be quick...isn't the ring that the Phantom gives Christine the same ring that Raoul gave her as an engagement ring? Why would she give Erik back a ring that Raoul actually gave her? :confused:

Just pondering when I should be working... ::D:

Later, GALS! :erikicon: :inlove: :hugs:

Kimbo

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Hi Swan and GALS--

I'm at work, so this will be quick...isn't the ring that the Phantom gives Christine the same ring that Raoul gave her as an engagement ring? Why would she give Erik back a ring that Raoul actually gave her? :confused:

Just pondering when I should be working... ::D:

Later, GALS! :erikicon: :inlove: :hugs:

Kimbo

We actually did discuss this when we were taping, but due to time constraints it couldn't be included. I think she was conceding to the Phantom that he always would have a significant part of her heart, no matter what happened between her and Raoul. The ring was the most meaningful, tangible object she could give Erik to remind him of that in the future... that he was loved. Well, that's my theory, anyway. There may be others..... ?
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I have to make something clear, for me personally, I would have fallen head-over-heels for the Phantom. No doubt in my mind as I have always fallen for the bad boys. And I would have had passion and excitement and the best sex of my life! However, I would have also had distrust and fear and no sense of freedom and after the dust settled and we had tried every Kama Sutra position available, could we talk with one another? Maybe. But would we have true intimacy? I don’t think so.

While I think Erik craved intimacy in every sense of the word, I just don’t think he really knew what true love was. After all, how could he know? At the first hint that Christine was becoming disinterested, what tactics would Erik resort to in order to keep her?

Just a couple of my thoughts while I’m at work – pretending to work. :;):

:hugs:

Dr. Em

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LOL Em!!!

But really, Beanie, I agree with you on the Ring. Then when she died, He gave it back once again to her to show that she was still and forever would be his love.

But again, that's just me. I'm a big sap.

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you all make such valid points!!!!

christine blatantly made the right choice for her. society back then was so superficial, i don't think i could ever stand living like that but i'm the kind of person that hates pressure from authority and i like to go against the grain just because i can. the phantom excites me, the endless possibilities- i'm too spontaneous for my own good, always jumping in head first, which may be my downfall- ah well who cares!!!!!

i've probably made the completely wrong choice but Damn it, every single one of the phantoms (leroux's, alw's etc) turn me on!!! oops not to pg-13 is it?!

Forgive me my hormones are raging!!!!!!

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Remember.... when Raoul was singing at the film's opening, he said these words, "she often spoke of you my friend..." who is he speaking of?

Did Christine really speak often of the monkey music box, or was it Erik she spoke of? In my view, the monkey is Erik's alter ego. He identifies with it; a side show performer. That's why he stares at it with that little boy face in the final lair scene. So my guess is that Christine never forgot the Phantom. She probably dreamed of him and talked in her sleep of him. Perhaps she even spoke to Raoul of him. Not the music box.

Hmmmmn.....

Swan

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Okay, I've had my good cry and thanks to all these posts I'm not as mad at Christine as I was...Posted Image

Now about Raoul: My exposure to POTO is from seeing it on stage in San Francisco (no Michael Crawford) and for the life of me I can't remember who played the Phantom each time because my eyes were glued on the actors that played Raoul. As strange as that sounds, when I saw the play, there was no doubt in my mind who Christine should go with--Raoul, of course. When I heard they were making the movie I couldn't believe that they were considering Antonio Banderas for Phantom--I kept saying, no no no he is the perfect Raoul.

So, without getting into reality and what times were really like in that time, just from my perspective from seeing the play, Raoul was the best man for her. Phantom just had too many issues and I didn't see his obsession as being true love. He was intriguing but very scary.

Raoul genuinely cared for her, loved her, wanted to protect her and was willing to give up everything including his life for her.

That was BEFORE I saw HRH as the Phantom.

When I saw the movie, of course I couldn't take my eyes off the Phantom--good Lord, while he had issues, his deep love, intelligence, talent, sexiness,etc etc etc that Gerry brought to the character was amazing.

Raoul was suddenly in a serious competition.

However, it was still clear to me that Raoul loved her, wanted to protect her, was willing to give up his life for her happiness. In the scenes of the Masked Ball and in the cemetary during the sword fight he really shows his willingness to do anything to "save" her from the Phantom.

At the end, in the cave, he is willing to die and yet apologizes to her for not being able to save her...very moving.

My husband said something interesting too when I commented after seeing the movie that "I would have gone with the Phantom". He said, they both loved her but Raoul was the only one who could love her for herself. Interesting, man's POV.

And, at the end of the movie when he buys the music box and takes it to her gravesite he still shows his love for her and his acceptance of all that she is and has felt during their time together.

Okay, time for another good cry :cry:. I'll be back later on to post about :erikrose:

Donna

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