Movie Musical Reviews- #2: Moulin Rouge

Have you ever watched a movie that everyone loves to bits or hates with a passion, but you ended up on the neutral side? That is the case for me with today's film, Moulin Rouge.

Directed by Baz Luhrman, the same guy who gave us the horror that was Romeo + Juliet (which still deserves to burn in hell), Moulin Rouge is about a writer named Christian who falls in love with a prostitute named Satine, but a duke named.....the Duke (not kidding, that's what they call him) wants Satine all for himself, and won't invest in where she works (a nightclub called Moulin Rouge) to turn it into a stage theatre unless he receives the deed to the nightclub and can only have Satine to himself.

So, if you couldn't tell by that synopsis, the story isn't all that spectacular. It's very cliché, and you can guess all the twists that are coming. Hell, the movie tells us in the first 10 minutes or less that a main character will die. Seriously, that removes the need to see things through to the end. The romance is also sloppy and forced. Christian and Satine literally fall in love in under 3 minutes. Jeez, and I thought the romance in The Little Mermaid was rushed, this is just completely ridiculous. For a story that's all about "freedom, beauty, truth, and LOVE" (love being used about 1500 times), the romance feels more like lust than love. The story isn't worthless or anything, it's just not very engaging, because we've seen this all done before.

So,the story's not very good. What about the characters? Well, they aren't that great, either. You've got Christian, who's just the innocent broke writer looking for love. Cliché. Next is Satine, the prostitute who falls in love with the writer and wants to be with him but can't be. Cliché. You've got the bohemians, who will only go along with their causes while supporting the writer. Cliché. There's Zidler, who is the father figure to Satine who thinks he knows what's best for her. Cliché. And then you have the Duke, a man infatuated with Satine who wants her and will stop anyone who gets in her way. Not only cliché, but horribly, horribly written. He's just a childish jackass who tries to be threatening but just comes off as whiny and annoying. I swear, his last lines in the movie involve him shouting, "My way! My way!" He is literally one of the worst romance villains I've ever seen.

So, if the story and characters are weak, what is good about it? Well, the visuals, for one thing, are phenomenal. I love the sets. They are gorgeous, whether in Moulin Rouge or somewhere else. The colors are all vivid and stylish, and it really captures what a nightclub in 1899 would look like. The costumes are also great, especially with the cancan dancers and when Spectacular Spectacular is performed. The cinematography and editing is also spot on. It's fast when a scene is fun and delightful, but also slow during calmer scenes. The choreography also had a lot of effort put into it and looks great. The only thing that sucked was the "Because We Can" scene. It needed to take a breather at that point.

The songs are also crafted excellently. For those of you who don't know, Moulin Rouge is a jukebox musical, which I'm usually not into, mostly because of a certain musical that's getting a sequel next year that I will probably review eventually (joy), but Moulin Rouge does it very well. It actually uses songs that are necessary to the plot, and they do help advance it. They are also sung very well by the cast, which is definitely a plus. The best song is definitely when Roxanne by The Police is turned into a tango. That's the only part of the movie where everything is perfect. If anything, this film at least put more thought into the use of songs than most jukebox musicals.

This film is a bit overrated. Seven Oscar nods, including Best Picture, is a bit much. However, the main attraction of the movie is that it's a lot of fun. There are still stupid decisions, but at least it had effort put into some aspects. It's a very style over substance movie, and the main reason I have seen it a few times is that I enjoy the style a lot. It's like a cupcake with sprinkles. Sure, it's basic and has nothing of substance, but at least it feels good to consume it.

Overall Score: 6/10

If you're reading this, then thanks for looking at my post. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any suggestions, feel free to offer them.


Nice post as always. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

Thanks. - Elric-san

Never seen it, but I do know that a lot of my friends don't like it so I'm probably going to avoid watching it. Good post though. - visitor

Well, it's only good on a technical level anyway. - Elric-san

Okay. All I ever knew about it was that most people are usually mixed on it. - visitor

And you could review Singin' in the Rain

That Duke name reminds me of John Wayne - visitor

I'll review that once I watch it. And yeah, that was weird. - Elric-san

Yeah, Singin' in the Rain is obviously where they got the song in A Clockwork Orange from. Gene Kelly can sing pretty well, just as good as Fred Astaire - visitor

I despise it - visitor

That's understandable, the story isn't very good. I just personally think it looks cool and I like the song renditions. I actually listen to songs on the soundtrack more than I watch the movie. - Elric-san