Moulin Rouge! Reviews
Despite of being a musical, the background score and the songs in here aren't that good as the makers think. When the feature portrays drama, it seems cheesy and corny and when it focuses on drawing laughs, it looks like they aren't serious about it. Baz Luhrman and Craig Pearce; the writers, have written an uneven paced script that may be good in bits and pieces but not as a whole concrete material. Baz Luhrman's execution skill develops as the film ages on screen for the first half of it seems redundant and unsupervised. The performance is the only key that helps one hold on to this feature as Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor are convincingly good in it. Moulin Rouge! is brilliant on technical aspects like costume design, production design and choreography with a stellar performance but what lacks in here is a reason or a soul that makers fails to install in it.
Baz Luhrmann's portrayal of the Moulin Rouge gives life to the nightclub, filling it with extracavendace and true romances. First introduced in the present, we are quickly transported in time to 1989 by Christian (played by Ewan McGregor) who is writing a novel of an epic love story turned tragic. Delivered in the form of a story book where everything is small and seen through a series of snapshots, we learn of Christian's arrival into Paris where he meets new friends who "fall in love" with his singing voice. Later on, we come to the Moulin Rouge where Christian quickly falls for the star dancer, Satine (Nicole Kidman), who is secretly dying of tuberculosis. The whole love affair quickly turns into a Romeo and Juliet tale of two lovers being separated by the inevitability of death.
After learning that Christian is not "The Duke" who Satine is suppose to seduce to finance the Moulin Rouge and almost getting caught by the real duke, the lovers formulate a plan to create a whole new show that will have Satine as the star, which the Duke agrees to finance as long as Satine is his.
Throughout "Moulin Rouge!", the audience is given several cuts back and forth between characters on different timelines to give deliverance of how a real show such as the Moulin Rouge would be like where you do not know where to look at with everything chaotically happening around you. While it works with this film, it can become quite exhausting to keep up with.
A main key to the film is its colors. Luhrmann captures a great deliverance of showing the main elements of emotion, signaling an uplifting or depressing moments through the representation of color.
One turnoff I had mostly with this film was the soundtrack. I wasn't feeling the rendition of Nirvana's 1991 hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit". The same thing happened in the 2015 film "Pan" when the took on their own take of the track. For promiscuous film that is "Moulin Rouge!", the rock hit fell flat and made the world seem less exciting and realistic. Luhrmann continued throughout the film to take hit songs and revamp them for a cultural effect.
While filled with many sexist innuendos such as how women only worship diamonds and must have them delivered by rich, older men, the film is beautiful with so many colors and music to uplift viewers. "Moulin Rouge!" gives you a night at the circus from the comfort of your living room.
"Moulin Rouge!" (2001)
Running Time: 2 h 10 min
I just couldn't buy the predictability of the story 100 percent. Also, the tonal shifts aren't always smooth. With that being said, Moulin Rogue! is a pure magical experience and a visual feast that became even more moving and engaging with incredible and dynamic performances from Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.
Nicole Kidman and Jim Broadbent both deliver though. It's not their fault.
Moulin Rouge! is a visual assault masquerading as a musical. Baz Luhrmann's film is hyper and surreal, a childhood view of romance and freedom, with love as the most shimmery and exotic of effigies. It's a movie intended to alienate most music lovers and challenge regular moviegoers with psychedelic visions posing as rambunctious merriment. Yes, it is the ultimate "poser" movie and posing was where the 21st century was headed. People forget that Moulin Rouge! was singlehandedly the movie that brought back the musical to Hollywood, after the genre's untimely death in 1972. While Evita was released a few years before Moulin Rouge!, that movie was Andrew Lloyd Webber's gratuity to Hollywood; a lazily imagined vanity package for Madonna. Moulin Rouge! was the evolution of music in show business-proof that we never stopped singing, we just needed a change of scenery.
What I Learned: I fell in love with this movie just as I lost someone I really cared about. I think the psychedelic doomsday vision of "love" really helped me through the grieving process. I also think it really helped me to fall in love with The Musical. Up until this point, I don't think I associated music with art. I think this film, with Cabaret, showed me that music could be grief; it could be tormented art; it could be therapeutic and not just a fake smile to the world.