Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge! is Baz Luhrmann's labor of love from 2001, and the film that was thought to have revived the musical in Hollywood. By taking a simple story set at the turn of the 20th centuries and mixing it with 21st century sensibilities, it became a huge international hit. Its story is about a young writer (Ewan McGregor) who leaves his conservative house and heads to Paris to the Moulin Rouge, an infamous burlesque house. He falls in love with their main dancer (Nicole Kidman) but is soon threatened by the Duke, the main financier of the theater. They soon find themselves devising means by which to keep their show and their romance together. The whole film is set to musicalized versions of pop hits from the last twenty years (there is no original music in the film) and the movie is filmed in a hyper-kinetic music video style. This style is the reason the film was so successful and the reason that I think hurts it the most, resulting in what I would describe as kitsch. McGregor and Kidman shine in the leads though, Jim Broadbent is great in support, and the movie comes together nicely in the final act.