Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 362 - Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge! (2001) directed by Baz Luhrmann

With just a couple more movies to go I decided that I'd watch a couple of personal favorites. I think I've deserved it...

Whenever someone asks me what my favorite movie of all time is, I instinctively answer Braveheart but deep down inside Moulin Rouge might be the real answer. Yes, I realize that makes me sound like a girl but I don't care. I LOVE THIS MOVIE AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO ADMIT IT. I first saw Moulin Rouge back in high school without knowing a single thing about it going into the theatre. I left totally blown away for the first time realizing that movies weren't just made for entertainment but could also be considered a true art form. I had seen musicals before, but I had never seen one quite like this just as I've seen elaborate sets and costumes before but none as vibrant and colorful. I also noticed just how much input a director has in the vision of a film. No one else could have picked up a script and a camera and made this film quite like Baz Luhrmann. This was the first time I really fell in love with movies. I suppose everyone has a film that just moved them in this certain way and Moulin Rouge was it for me. To me this film has it all, epic romance, tragedy, comedy, interesting characters, great cinematography, editing, elaborate sets and costumes, and awesome soundtrack to boot. Seriously, what's not to like?

The first portion of the film is dizzying as Luhrmann cuts and edits with breakneck speed and frantic energy. The first dance and song number in the Moulin Rouge is Luhrmann's signature style (he began his career as a music video director) but honestly these scenes may be my least favorite even if they are engrossing. To me the film really begins when Christian (Ewan McGregor) and Satine (Nicole Kidman) meet each other for the first time in the Elephant Room. Satine is doing her hilarious sexy poses when Christian just busts out singing, "My gift is my song....." Satine then stops what she's doing and stares at him wide eyed just like the rest of the audience. I remember thinking to myself, "Wow." They end up in a dream-like fog filled rooftop with a singing moon and I was just hooked right in. I had never seen a movie quite like this one. This was the first time I've seen the film in a while and this scene put a smile on my face. Each scene, particularly the song and dance numbers, is a visual (and audio) treat.

Don't get me wrong, Moulin Rouge is a total chick flick, but even thugs fall in love too right? This is a great romance that is passionate, moving and tragic on a Shakespearean level. It also helps that I love both Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman who are personal favorites of mine because of this film. (I once saw Ewan McGregor perform Guys and Dolls live in London and loved it. He really can sing.) I'm not going to say that I cried at the end, but I was pretty bummed out. Love can be so heartbreaking sometimes but "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." I'll probably be flamed to the high heavens for this, but honestly this is one of the best films to come out in the past decade. Seriously. I know I sound like a total girl, but whatever. I'm nearing the end of this challenge and I'm losing my mind! Haha.

Grade: A

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