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The Phantom of the Opera

Question: Why does Christine unmask the phantom twice in the movie? First unmasking: During first Christine's first time in Phantom's lair. Second unmasking, in front of everybody, after the phantom shows up on stage an sings with her.

New this week Answer: The first time is done out of curiosity. The second is Christine realizing that it's the Phantom singing instead of Piangi and doing it either out of fright or to alert the police.

Question: Why does Christine choose Raul instead of the Phantom?

Answer: This is a very short, but very complex question about which dissertations are written. Here is my best attempt at a brief summary. Christine lives as a sheltered child-like woman in a highly patriarchal Victorian society. She is torn between two loves. There is Raoul, who represents safety, light, and a sort of romantic, adolescent view of what true love should mean. Then there is Erik, the Phantom, with whom Christine has had a long time bond. He has been to her like a guardian angel. He gave her music. He comforted her when her father died. And yet, as his role turns from that of protector and teacher to one of lustful suitor, he comes to represent darkness, passion, lust, obsession, and danger. He is unstable, driven to madness by a world of light he can never know. He is also, let's not forget, homicidal. Christine ultimately makes the only choice society makes available to her - the safe and sane choice. From the ending of the film, we learn that Christine remained wife to Raoul, but it is unclear how happily her life turned out. She probably always shared a connection to Erik, who possessed for her a depth of love she could never know from any other man. Andrew Lloyd Weber wrote a sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera" called "Love Never Dies." In it, we learn that the Phantom did, indeed, remain in Christine's life. I won't provide spoilers here, but more information about "Love Never Dies" can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Never_Dies_ (musical).

Michael Albert

Question: The last few seconds in the movie - the rose with the ring lying beside Christine's grave - turns back to colour. I can't figure out the message behind. Can anyone help?

Answer: The rose tied with the black ribbon and the ring were left by the Phantom. The rose symbolizes the love the Phantom and Christine had for each other, and its turning to red shows that this love still exists beyond death.


Question: If the Phantom is so in love with Christine why does he just let her go? We know that he is prepared to kill (and has) for her so it can't be that his moral compass prevents him from forcing her to love him. Seems to be slightly counter productive considering the fact that Christine actually consents to being with him.

Answer: It is often said that the biggest gift you can give someone that you love is their freedom. That is why the Phantom lets her go.


Question: After Christine chooses Raoul at the end of the movie, does the Phantom keep living in the opera house?

Answer: It is revealed in the sequel, Love Never Dies, that when the Phantom disappears he makes his way to Coney Island with Meg and Madame Giry. However, he does stay in Paris for a short amount of time (but it isn't known where) because on the night before Christine's wedding, she finds the Phantom and they make love, but then he flees because he felt ashamed of what he did. This is explained in "Beneath a Moonless Sky."

Question: Toward the end of the movie, why does Christine kiss the Phantom if she has decided to be with Raoul? Does this mean she had changed her mind to be with the Phantom after all?

Answer: It can be seen in so many different ways. Christine kissed Eric (the phantom) with passion and she even touched the deformed side of his face with tenderness! She truly wanted to kiss him at that moment. In the movie it didn't seem forced. She was probably heartbroken seeing not only Raul being threatened in that way, but Eric being tortured by his own hate and despair. She came towards him wanting not just to release Raul but to release him from his darkness and his feeling of hate and despair for the world and himself, showing that he can be loved, that she does love him and that he can love too, in her heart he is still her angel, she cannot help but do as her heart told her. And in her heart she felt the need to show him that he was not alone and to kiss him. She didn't kiss him because she wanted to stay with him but definitely not just to save Raul, what there was between the phantom and Christine will always be special, that connection... And when the phantom finally realizes that he has been loved in that way, even with his haunted face, her kiss made him more human, he truly realizes how much he loves Christine and so, because he loves her too much he lets her go, not wanting to force her anymore, also knowing that a life with him and his marked sad fate will be torture for her, and he cannot bear to see her unhappy even if that means that he will be unhappy and incomplete forever! Her kindness and love disarmed him and shed warmth to his heart, which was why he let them go and in the end was crying.

Question: When Christine wakes up from her faint/sleep and starts singing "I Remember", she walks over to where the Phantom is sitting and is gently touching his face as he enjoys the feeling of intimacy. Soon after that though, she suddenly takes off his mask (to his horror). Did she walk over to him planning to do that all along, pretending to be interested in getting closer to him just so she could see what was under the mask? She doesn't seem to me like such a premeditated type, but it also doesn't seem credible that she was interested in getting closer to him and decided that suddenly unmasking him was a way to get even closer to him.

Answer: She was planning to. She sang "who was that shape in the shadows, whose is the face in the mask"

Question: When Christine is taken into the Phantom's lair for the second time - after the chandelier crash - and Raoul comes to save her, they all sing an overlapping reprise of The Point of No Return. The Phantom sings The Point of No Return, Christine sings Angel of Music, but what does Raoul sing? Is it a new tune or a particular song from the movie?

Answer: He sings the tune from All I Ask of You.

Question: The Phantom refers to himself as Christine's "angel of music" in the song called "The Mirror". How did he know that Christine thought her father would send her an angel? Did he know her father?

Answer: As shown in the movie, Christine has spent time praying in the chapel as a child. It would not be unexpected for a child of such a young age to literally speak to her dead father in such situations, mentioning his promise in the process, thus allowing the Phantom to hear about it. In the book, though, it is understood that Mr. Daaé and the Phantom knew each other. By sending his daughter to the Opéra populaire after his death, he might have wanted the Phantom to look over her.


Question: How much older is the Phantom compared to Christine?

Answer: His age is never revealed, but probably anywhere from 15-25 years older.


Question: During "Think of Me", the camera goes down into the cellars and we get our first look at the Phantom. Can anyone see what he is doing?

Answer: He is merely listening to Christine singing, enjoying her triumph.


Question: During point of no return, the phantom has no disguise on. If everyone was after him, why didn't anyone stop the performance and capture the phantom?

Answer: During "Point of No Return, " the Phantom shares a stage with the very vulnerable Christine. He is still masked, though it is a mask other than his trademark white face covering. The Phantom is well known as a murderer and an escape artist. This is the the equivalent of a hostage situation. To rush the stage might risk lives, and everyone in the know is proceeding with caution. During the song, we do get glimpses of police moving about, and Raoul and others looking concerned, subtly signaling one another and considering their next move. The stage crew seems confused. The dancers go on with the show. And law enforcement officers await the right moment to advance. It also gives us the opportunity to enjoy a dramatic musical number that rushing the stage would interrupt.

Michael Albert

Question: How is the woman at the beginning of the movie Meg Giry, as is stated in several answers here? They call her Madame Giry, if it were Meg they would call her Mademoiselle Giry, unless she was married, in which case she would be Madame with whatever surname she received upon marriage. So wouldn't it need to be Meg's mother, Madame Giry?

Answer: The honorific "Mademoiselle" is not an indication only of marital status, but it has a connotation of youth (and, ostensibly, virginity). Beyond a certain age, it would be considered inappropriate and possibly insulting or mocking to continue to use the term "Mademoiselle." "Madame" is generally adopted by women of a certain age, regardless of their marital status. It is not unlike "Señora" and "señorita" in Spanish. An interesting note - there is a currently a movement in France to remove "Mademoiselle" from French common usage, as it is considered by some sexist to classify women by age and/or marital status, when men in France are uniformly referred to only as "Monsieur."

Michael Albert

Question: Why are the Phantom's footsteps walking distance when he runs to the statue? Also, when did he learn to climb so swiftly?

Answer: Not everyone runs in big strides. The phantom has also had most of his life to master climbing, sneaking, hiding, etc. To see and take what he wants from the theatre without being seen, in his youth he had little to do except explore and learn everything about the place and the fastest ways to get where he wants to go.


Question: What does the Phantom mean when he refers to Raoul as a "slave of fashion" (in the scene before the "Phantom of the Opera" song)?

Answer: Simply that he thinks Raoul is a fop that looks much nicer on the outside than he probably is on the inside. He's jealous and believes Raoul is using Christine.


Question: Why did the Phantom always ask for Box 5 to be open for him? I know he wanted to watch the play from it, but if someone wanted to find him (after the trouble he causes to make Christine the star of the plays), they would know exactly where to look for him during any play.

Answer: In Gaston Leroux's novel, box 5 has in its wall a secret passageway with special acoustic properties that allows him to watch shows without being seen while remaining hidden. That is why he picked that box and no one ever sees him in it. Legend even has it that a column in box 5 of the actual Opéra Garnier rings hollow when you knock on it.


Question: Why is there always a midget version of Piangi's character in the operas?

Answer: Midgets were common at the time in that type of shows, where they were used as a comic relief.


Question: When the scene with the song "Why So Silent" takes place, how long has it been since anyone last saw/heard from the Phantom?

Answer: As said in Masquerade, "Three months of relief, of delight, of Elysian peace."

Question: When the phantom disappears at the end why does he leave his mask behind? I mean does he get a new one or does he now live without it?

Answer: The abandoned mask is a symbol of the Phantom's continuing presence, despite his apparent physical absence. He has already been publicly unmasked, both physically and, to an extent, psychologically. He has conceded that he has lost Christine to Raoul whom he has freed. He has abandoned his lair. All that was his facade, he has either given up or has been taken from him. The mask is the final symbolic gesture of that facade being relinquished, leaving behind further mystery regarding his whereabouts. Does he now live without it? I guess that's left unclear. However, I don't think it's beyond reason to assume he has, or has created more than one copy of the mask - if for no other reason than anything in pure white must be difficult to keep clean, what with the dust all over the opera house, the dirt of the streets, the humidity of his cavern, and the occasional splatter of blood to contend with.

Michael Albert

Question: This question might sound odd, but how has La Carlotta become so successful if a lot of people don't like her voice very much (as seen when she sings "Think of Me" before Christine tries)?

Answer: The fact that the "in the know" people don't like her doesn't mean that she doesn't have a huge public and make a killing at the box office. On top of that, she was their "Diva." She may not have necessarily had many fans (in some versions they comment that there were no refunds, with Christine singing). Therefore, it can be assumed that given that she was the Diva if she didn't get her way, things would be bad on their end. Likely why her husband (who also did not sing well, due to his deep accent) was another main role in all the operas. They may have also thought there was nobody else who could handle the main roles. It takes a strong person to take on so many lines. And you need to project your voice, which heaven knows she had a loud one.


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At the end when Meg steps out of the water, her pants are wet. However, when she enters the bedroom and finds the Phantom's mask, her pants are perfectly dry.



In one of the 1919 flashback scenes, Raoul looks out of the car window at a Swarovski jewelry store. The Swarovski crystal company made the chandelier for the film, valued at over $1.3 million.


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