Moulin Rouge! (2001) Review
A writer named Christian ends up in a crazy world when he travels to Paris and ends up working in the Moulin Rouge where he falls in love with Satine a courtesan, only problem is she must seduce the Duke in order for him to invest.
I absolutely adore and love this film, I have no idea how or why I have not already reviewed it but after yet another viewing a few days ago I decided it was time to right that wrong and really gush about this fantastic piece of art. Taking musical films to a different place, it’s very unique in that sense and uses plenty of well-known and loved songs all put together. What we would now called mash-up, but back in 2001 that phrase hadn’t been used yet. Maybe this one was just out too early to be really appreciated?
It has a lovely romance at the core. Ok maybe that isn’t the best way to start describing it but the relationship between Christian and Satine really is a great one to watch. How they are the secret lovers that parallels to the play they are rehearsing and Christian is wiring, but because the Duke is totally oblivious to everything he doesn’t realise. I have to admit that I love Richard Roxburgh’s performance as the Duke he is seriously hilarious from the first moment. I mean a lot of the characters are they are a bit crazy and off the wall which is often a really good thing to have in a film, especially when it comes to a musical.
The brilliance of the way they have used the different songs has to be that you have to really think about the original version because they change it all so much. You know the lyrics but struggle to completely place it. Along with the incredible “Come What May” which is an original song (I have just read that it was originally written for Romeo + Juliet, useless trivia) and it really does have such lovely lyrics in it, I mean come on the opening line is amazing.
Anyway getting distracted by that song, but it does play an important part in the story as it is the secret song. It also has some beautiful scenes, but what isn’t beautiful about this film? It has some extra hilarious moments as well especially Jim Broadbent and the “Like a virgin” scene, I mean what they do with the song is just great. I must mention it is a truly outstanding performance from Broadbent and probably my favourite (so far) that I have seen of him. He also has a very serious and emotional moment when singing “The Show Must Go On” which fits perfectly into that moment.
We know from the start with Christian on his typewriter that the story is not going to have a very happy ending for him, he looks upset but the way it all unfolds really does play with your emotions. I have to admit that I totally fell in love with Ewan McGregor as Christian that is how powerful his performance is in this film. Nicole Kidman is wild at times and over the top but that fits perfectly for Satine. So a truly groundbreaking musical that was rightly nominated for Best Picture and it had been a long time since a musical had been nominated, it was Chicago a few years later that took the top award home.
Baz Luhrmann manages to really create magic in his films, this one is visually stunning at times, using plenty of colour, mixed with the music and incredible dance routines. I really do urge you even if you’re not a massive musicals fan to catch up with this one as it has amazing performances and offers something just that little bit different.
Never knew I could feel like this, like I’ve never seen the sky before . . .