The Cougar Chronicle

Moulin Rouge! dazzles as a musical master piece

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Moulin Rouge! dazzles as a musical master piece

Nicole Kidman stars in the 2001 film, Moulin Rouge!.

Nicole Kidman stars in the 2001 film, Moulin Rouge!.

Courtesy of MovieScreencaps.com/ © 20th Century Fox

Nicole Kidman stars in the 2001 film, Moulin Rouge!.

Courtesy of MovieScreencaps.com/ © 20th Century Fox

Courtesy of MovieScreencaps.com/ © 20th Century Fox

Nicole Kidman stars in the 2001 film, Moulin Rouge!.

Izzi Harris, Film Analyst

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A rowdy, colourful and unashamed portrayal of cabaret-era France, Moulin Rouge! dives headfirst into a love that will live forever.

 

A musical unlike any other, this film precedes movie giants from the creator of The Great Gatsby and Romeo +  Juliet. Anyone who has seen a Baz Luhrmann film knows that they’ll be an over the top, kaleidoscope of color that simultaneously stuns and dazes audiences. It doesn’t matter – they’re still masterpieces.

 

As in all his films, the soundtrack’s off the charts; but this time with a twist – the songs aren’t all original (hold the disdain) and instead take well-known hits and re-use music featuring Elton John, David Bowie, Madonna and Queen (what more do you want??). Luhrmann pulls out all the stops in a way that really shouldn’t work and yet magically does.

 

Ewan McGregor’s rendition of Elton’s classic love rendition “Your Song” is almost enough motivation to give up on other men entirely, and when Nicole Kidman swings into view (yes, swings) singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”, you’ll swoon, then bow to her like the true queen she is.

Nominated for eight Oscars, this film is highly divisive – you either love it or you hate it. McGregor spearheads the cast as the lovely Christian, a melancholic writer who tries his best to woo the beautiful dancer, Satine. Best known for Trainspotting and the Star Wars prequels, (he’s the one behind “It’s over Anakin, I have the high ground!”) McGregor shines here and isn’t at all afraid to hit some of those high notes.

 

Joining him on the silver screen is Nicole Kidman; she stars as Satine, an ambitious courtesan slash wannabe actor, who is caught up in the attempt to seduce a Duke so he can bankroll her way to fame. In a fateful slip-up, she mistakes Christian for the Duke and together the two set off on a wonderful yet wonderfully confused path to love. Best known for Lion, Aquaman and Big Little Lies, she stuns all with the most entrancing and unique performance.

A breath of fresh air from Hollywood movies that perhaps take themselves too seriously, Moulin Rouge! will delight and entertain from its very beginning. Obviously inspired by Bollywood, it’s easy to see why the costume design and art direction won so many awards, and their flashes of colour provide easy relief from a Game of Thrones episode that was maybe a little too dark.  

Be delighted and inspired by a movie that knows exactly what it wants, Moulin Rouge! will take it all and give nothing back. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll break the repeat button on the soundtrack – Baz Luhrmann impresses yet again and will make you wonder; how did I not know this movie existed?

Watch if you loved: Romeo + Juliet, Grease, Hairspray and The Notebook.

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