I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Movie Musical Challenge: Moulin Rouge!

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
In Movie Musical Challenge, I'm watching all 25 picks for AFI's Greatest musicals starting from the bottom.  Number 25 is Moulin Rouge!, which was released in 2001 and starred Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.

I watched this movie many years ago because my friend was a big fan, and I remember not loving it as much as she.  And watching it again, I still feel the same way.  It's definitely a spectacle, with interesting, frantic and over the top visuals, and an intriguing mix of songs from different times and genres.  I think the mish mash works as a whole, but at times it is so frenetic and visually manic, that it somehow fails to draw me in.  It's kind of exhausting.

The plot is a pretty straightforward love story with a play within a play within a play set-up as the main character is narrating, and the show they are trying to create at the Moulin Rouge reflects the story that is happening in real life.  It's a simple story, but so cleverly done that I can understand why it's in the top 25 list, although I probably would not have voted it there.

Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor both have wonderful voices too - perfect for their roles, and stronger than I would have expected given that they are such big names, and movie musicals lately often cast big names without really concerning themselves with how well those actors can sing.  I think my favorite sequence from the film is the entrance of Satine and the medley of 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend' which is a very lavish and a perfect introduction to Satine's allure and beauty.

Since this is the first film I've seen for my challenge, it's hard to say where I'll ultimately place it in my reworking of the top 25, but I feel like this would probably stay in the lowest spot, since even though I admire the artistry of the film, I did not entirely love the extravagant and frenetic tone and for some reason I was not as emotional over the love story as I could have wished.  The songs do not stick in my mind very much either, so the musical aspect didn't make me love this film.

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