Moulin Rouge! directed by Baz Luhrmann
Starring – Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor and Jim Broadbent
In the year 1900, English poet and writer Christian (Ewan McGregor) moves to a district in Paris to join the Bohemian movement. Meeting his quirky neighbours who he discovers are a troupe of performers, the group employ Christian to help sell their show ‘Spectacular, Spectacular’ to the owners at the Moulin Rouge. Neighbour, Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo), sets up a meeting for Christian with the star courtesan, Satine (Nicole Kidman), to pitch the show and get her to approve it to the owner. In a case of mistaken identity Christian falls in love with the performer and a forbidden romance ensues.
Despite first watching this film a number of years ago, it solidified itself as one of my firm favourites almost instantly. In this dynamic and unique musical you see a side to well known actors that you’ve never seen before. A clever and emotional storyline keeps you captivated and engaged with the central protagonists. As you would in a typical forbidden romance narrative you feel the trials and frustrations the characters do, but presented in true, unique Luhrmann form the highs are extremely high so the contrasted lows feel devastating. The actors carry the extremities so well you become completely absorbed in the world of the Moulin Rouge! and feel the emotions. It is a complete rollercoaster of a film.
Not only is Moulin Rouge! a film with a powerful narrative reinforced by strong characters but is also cleverly blended with contemporary music to enhance the storyline for even the most unromantic of people. ‘Roxanne’ by The Police becomes passionate, aggressive and emotional in the Argentinian twist the song is given and ‘Your Song’ by Elton John becomes a symbol for true love. There are a good mix of original and familiar songs key to play on the audiences heart strings just that little bit longer.
The film just reeks romance and the trials and tribulations that come with it, even the look of the film reinforces the mood. The colours are rich and deep and camera shots become glossy and sweeping. Every frame becomes some kind of symbol and representation of how the characters are feeling; from the exotic and enchanting ‘red room’ to the dark and sinister Gothic Tower. The whole of the film wants you to be swept along in its story and with the primary narration coming from Christian as he writes and recounts the tale, Luhrmann’s direction really makes the audience feel they are seeing things how Christian remembers it, with tinges of romance and the dark struggles experienced.
I cannot stress how good this film is. If you love romances, regardless of an interest in musicals Moulin Rouge! is definitely one to check out. It is the perfect representation of the romance expectations. If you like musicals this one doesn’t disappoint, its featuring of recognisable songs doesn’t seem clunky or out of place, as each song comes with a twist or a slight altering making them feel almost tailor made for the film. The cast is incredible and so well suited to their roles, every time I watch it I fall more and more in love with Christian, naturally thats helped by who he’s played by but still. It’s got something in it for everyone and I know guys that have loved this film just as much as girls have. This is Luhrmann’s masterpiece and deserves that kind of attention.