Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Burning Questions: What's happening in LND?

It's seems that the tracklisting for LND which appeared earlier on broadwayworld.com has been removed. Well - if you've read it, you'll already know that we'renot much the wiser for having read it. The song titles are mostly inconclusive regarding the plot because we simply do not know who will be singing them, and to whom. Therefore, the wild plot guessing continues :)

One of the most burning questions is of course: who will die? Will anyone die at all? Now, SPOILER ALERT (if you haven't read the Phantom of Manhattan and you actually plan on doing that in the near future. I wouldn't, if I were you :) So - you've been warned! In PoM, Christine is the one who dies, while Erik and Raoul live. I have my doubts though that this will be the outcome of Love Never Dies. Actually, my money's on Erik dying(if anyone at all). Why? Several reasons:

1. There are three well-known versions of Phantom of the Opera (Leroux, Kay and Webber), and Erik dies in two of them while Christine and Raoul live. Now, you might argue that LND is more a spin-off, and the ending of the actual story taking place in Paris is no longer relevant. But the overall point is: Erik cannot live without his Christine (as he puts it himself in Leroux: he is dying of a broken heart) and therefore, the original PoM ending doesn't make much sense from a character point of view.

2. Raoul cannot possibly die - his old self is actually in both the musical and the movie's first scene. If he died, the Phantomverse would probably turn into a black hole and explode from sudden logic deprivation. Yet the love triangle somehow has to be resolved. Now, one might say that having Raoul and Christine survive while Erik dies wouldn't actually be significantly different from the original...

3.Christine, according to the movie, dies in 1917. Simply a typing error on her tombstone? Doubtful... But then dates are completely messed up already, so - it might be a possibility :)

As you can see, it's almost impossible to make more than simply guesses at the plot (and a portion of wishful thinking is involved as well :) What I'm not doubting is that this one is going to be about Erik and Christine. It was already clear in the movie that it was centered more around the relationship between those two. Less fear, more fascination. And that's actually what add some tragedy to the original story. If you think that Christine feels nothing more than a kind of admiration, fear and hate for Erik, then this whole story is kind of pointless (in my view). But, if Christine does indeed love Erik, but goes with Raoul instead, there's a whole different level of drama involved there. Note how at the end of PotO, she doesn't actually "choose" Raoul? She chooses to kiss Erik. Only then, Erik practially sends her away with Raoul. The movie script is also quite explicit in stating that Christine looks back at him until he disappears from view and seems to be singing for him actually. Poor Erik, poor Raoul, poor Christine. Everyone makes choices, but they do not make them happy. Erik pines for Christine, Christine pines for Erik, and Raoul is unhappy but loves Christine. Erik and Christine share something that Raould simply cannot be a part of, which is expressed through music. I just hope that LND will not ruin Raoul's character: he is supposed to be an alcoholic, but he cannot be turned into a bad person. One of the charms of the original story is that there is no real villain - I feel sorry for all of them and I cannot condemn any of the three for what they did. I'm not bitchslapping Christine, bashing Raoul or vilefying Erik. All three are essential to the story, and this must be carried over to LND.

Oh and please DON'T make Mme Giry a villain. It just doesn't fit!

So, enough of my random thoughts on LND. More to come!

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