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Film Review: “Moulin Rouge” (2001)


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It was back in 2001 when I saw Moulin Rouge for the first time, and I never watched it again, until today, the first day of January, 2015. I remember my first impression after watching Moulin Rouge: I cried right from the opening scene till the closing title… Maybe it`s because we, the viewers, know the ending of the film at the beginning, when Christian (Ewan McGregor) begins telling us his story of love, and the death that took away this love, and the person he loved anyway… or maybe I was just too sentimental when I saw the beauty in the film I wanted so badly to see…

There are so many reasons to see Moulin Rouge; it`s beautiful music, mesmerizing story; the colorful and fascinating world of Moulin Rouge; or to see the sparkling diamond, named Satine (Nicole Kidman)… But of one thing I am quite certain, it does not matter how many examples or reasons I give you to see Luhrmann`s masterpiece, because this film has absolute magic to make the audience fall in love with whatever it has to offer, to make them feel part of the show, even though the ending is not what we wish to see…

Christian (Ewan McGregor), is a very talented poet who happens to fall for a beautiful courtesan, known as the sparkling diamond of Montmartre- Satine (Nicole Kidman),  for whom a jealous duke (Richard Roxburgh) has his own plans, and sharing his “diamond” is not one of them. When Christian and Satine`s relationship develops very fast, and the show that they are working on is about to be premiered, Satine has to make a choice; to stay with the poet, who has nothing to offer but pure love, or the duke, who has the power to give her anything she wants,  except love…

Moulin Rouge, written and directed by Australian filmmaker Bazz Luhrmann, is astonishingly colorful and surprisingly dynamic, and somehow manages to throw the audience into the epicenter of events; a charmingly seductive world of music, dance, where you will become witness to a  battle for the right to be loved. Once this film begins, the audience already knows that there is no need to expect the kind of ending where everyone lives happily ever after. The beautiful music, dynamic plot, and superb performance by the entire cast will make the viewers forget about the sad ending, while anticipating the progression of events with every single minute.

Even when we get to know the cause of the unfortunate events that will leave Christian devastated, this film will still somehow make the audience laugh, fall in love, and cry with Christian for his simple desire to be loved by someone, who is there just temporarily, to awaken him from a deep sleep where he dreamt of a world he never knew. But, when Satine comes into his life, Christian realizes that she is all that he needs, and this is where his talents wake up, allowing him to create a show, called ‘Spectacular, Spectacular’ with two possible endings, of which one Satine will ultimately choose….

Everything about Moulin Rouge is fantastic; the costumes, cinematography, the loud colors of Montmartre, the beautiful music and lyrics, and more importantly, the performances delivered by Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Jim Broadbent, and Richard Roxburgh who is chillingly great as ‘The Duke’. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor are a passionate on-screen couple; entirely convincing as a couple, their voices meld them together into one. Which surely makes them one of the most extraordinarily beautiful couples in modern cinema.

In conclusion, Luhrmann`s Moulin Rouge is a unique masterpiece to be seen again and again. It`s honest and sweet in a way only few movies dare. It shows us that no one ever has to stop loving, or caring, to create something spectacular, even though life has a habit of ending at any moment; the moment when we least expect it, because love and happiness can blind us from the sad reality that is right around the corner. A reality which waits to strike us and take away something we never want to live without – a reason that makes us want to be loved in return.   

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (1029 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

2 Comments on Film Review: “Moulin Rouge” (2001)

  1. Great review! You’ve made me want to watch it right now!

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