In 2001, Baz Lurhmann created a musical romantic comedy, the second film as part of his Red Curtain Trilogy, set in the Monmartre Quarter in Paris, France, 1900, Moulin Rouge! It tells the story of an English poet, Christian, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, Satine, however, Christian’s positive attitude and beliefs about love are soon destroyed, as he learns that loving the right person in the wrong setting and wrong time, will end in disaster.
One thing that will always baffle me as to why no one hears knows of Moulin Rouge!, is the fact that it had one of the best cast films I’ve seen in a long time. To name a few, Ewan McGregor plays young Christian, and yes, he does sing, and yes, he is absolutely amazing at it. He has certainly left me asking why doesn’t he sing anymore? And who thought we needed a singing Obi Wan Kenobi? Nicole Kidman plays the sensuous Satine, and Jim Broadbent plays Harold Zidler, the owner of the Moulin Rouge. (But seriously who doesn’t like Jim?).
One of the many reasons why Moulin Rouge! is such a beautiful film, is for the pure aesthetics of the setting. Of course being set in the Monmartre Quarter and in the Moulin Rouge itself, we are going to get stunning visuals from lighting to the architecture, in a true Baz Lurhmann style as he is well known for his use of bright colours.
Also, it’s good to mention that Satine’s chambers were set in an elephant’s head and it was pretty damn cool.
With Moulin Rouge! being a musical, you guessed it, there are songs. However, the songs are all covers of popular songs at that time. The cast do their own renditions of Your Song by Elton John, Like a Virgin by Madonna (This sung by Jim Broadbent. if you don’t watch the film, I highly recommend that you just watch that clip because it is hilarious beyond words.), The Sound of Music and even Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. With such a range of songs, they fit the film perfectly. The song, Lady Marmalade by Pink, Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim and Mya, is in fact from this film too.
Overall, Moulin Rouge! is one of them films that once you watch it, you’ll want to watch it over and over again. Being nominated for 8 Oscars at the 74th Academy Awards, and winning 2, you can understand why it’s so popular but it’s a film that needs more attention. With a notable cast, an enjoyable, but bittersweet, plot, and some good music, you can’t help but fall in love with Moulin Rouge!
And now I leave you with a “whoops it’s a spoiler but the film is from 2001, so get over it” picture that for me, is very relatable.