I sent you an ask about this awhile, but since I never got a response I'm going to assume Tumblr ate it ^^; I wanted to ask, do you think the swordfight scene in the 2004 PotO film was out of character for Erik? I've been mulling it over for sometime and would love to hear your opinion.
Hello! Great question! I don’t necessarily think the sword fight itself was out of character for Erik—I think losing the sword fight was out of character for Erik! I prefer Erik’s pyrotechnics in the stage version for several reasons. One, it hearkens back to his days as a magician in Persia and allows him to keep up that veneer of other-worldliness as it’s coming apart at the seams. Remember, Raoul knows very well by this point that Christine’s “angel” is a man, and though Christine knows the same thing, a part of her still wants to believe he’s superhuman. I think Erik would have wanted to maintain that illusion as long as he possibly could.
Two, the fire allows him to keep his distance and gives him the upper hand in the graveyard. As far as I know, Raoul doesn’t have a flamethrower, so Erik would naturally win that round. :D Also, Erik probably loves the drama of the scene because he’s nothing if not theatrical!
If he did start a sword fight with Raoul, there is just no way Raoul would gain the upper hand. This is nothing against Raoul—I love him as much as I love Erik—but Erik is a trained assassin, after all. And I’m sure his fighting style would be as graceful as it is deadly (Gerard Butler kind of lumbered around like he couldn’t quite control the heaviness of his cape).
Also, I think if Erik resorted to sword fighting, he would do so with the intention of killing Raoul, which, by this point in the musical, I’m not sure he’s willing to do. This isn’t due to any sort of affection he has for Raoul—far from it, obviously—but I’ve always thought that Erik enjoyed the psychological torture his waiting imposed upon Raoul. In the novel, Raoul grows increasingly paranoid waiting for Erik to do something: kill him, kill Christine, kill everyone in Paris…I’m sure Erik loved sitting back and watching his rival squirm. A sword fight strikes me as altogether too ridiculous for Erik—at least at that point in the story. He enjoys being the master puppeteer behind smoke and mirrors and would rather have people think he’s some sort of demon than a caped crusader jumping out from behind tombstones and playing Errol Flynn.