Moulin Rouge Review
“The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return“
“Moulin Rouge“ (2001) is a truly unique, modern musical drama with an emotional core, directed by Baz Luhrmann. It's the successor to his former masterpiece “Romeo and Juliet“. Very notable is the fact that the ending is revealed during the first few minutes of this film. This way the audience knows right from the beginning that there will be a sad ending. It's a film about love- but first of all about loss. The story; two young lovers fighting against all odds, it is not new, but Luhrmann creates a stunning originality to a familiar plot. Some people may criticize the linear plot without unexpected character revelations, but Luhrmann is able to catch the audience with simply his well-developed characters themselves.
The story of “Moulin Rouge“ is extracted from three operas and fixed together in a brilliant way. Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman are entirely convincing as passionate lovers. Furthermore, both sing all songs themselves and show their huge talent- their voices even compliment each other.
Watching „“Moulin Rouge“, you think about an expensive Broadway production on screen. The music,drawn from several familiar 20th century sources, catches the audience right from the beginning. “Come What May“, the secret love song of the two main characters, was actually written for “Romeo and Juliet“, but it wasn't used; therefore Luhrmann uses this romantic song as the only completely original song in the entire film. Ewan McGregor uses all his acting talent to make sure the audience shares Christians despair in the song “Roxanne“.
With its several unusual show-elements, the film risks being controversial. Hundreds of different costumes are being used, and some dancers really wear in-your-face outfits and represent exotic images. All actors demonstrate an artistic masterpiece. Due to intricate sets, the film never gets boring.
Luhrmann's personal style is impressive. Even the beginning of “Moulin Rouge“ is special- a screen-within-a-screen opening scene is used. Furthermore there is a vast variety of camera angles throughout the whole film. It's an extraordinary use of camera and screen, primarily during the scenes that play in the Moulin Rouge itself. All scenes in there change very quickly, which is truly a feast for the eyes.
One thing is clear: whether you like this film or not, you cannot absorb all it's content in one viewing!