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Movies

Moulin Rouge

ShrekThe movie Moulin Rouge is not the first story about love. Surely everyone has seen or heard hundreds of love stories before and undoubtedly will seen and hear hundreds in the course of their lives. But I doubt if anyone has seen a love story told the way this one is.

The movie is about Christian (Ewan Macgregor) an impoverished writer who falls in love with Satine (Nicole Kidman) the city's most sought after courtesan. At the surface, it's your typical poor boy, rich girl love story. A rich evil duke provides the mighty competition for poor boy Christian.

As an added bonus, it is also about the making of a play that will catapult Satine to superstardom. Of course the rich evil duke also provides money necessary for the play. It is reminiscent of the one of my all-time favorites Shakespeare in Love and the more recent Get Over It.

At this point it may seem that the movie is nothing new. But again I doubt if anyone has seen a love story told the way this one is.

It is set in Paris in 1900 a place and time that supposedly values truth, beauty, freedom and above all else love. More specifically it is set in the Moulin Rouge a place that values money more than anything else. Behind the make-up and the curtains, the courtesans and even the owner are trapped. There is no freedom and truth while beauty and love can be bought.

Only the best love stories are set in places with no love. Moulin Rouge is one of the best I've seen so far. This movie is more like a musical like The Sound of Music that no one seems to make and watch anymore. Moulin Rouge makes use of pop songs to make itself more familiar to viewers. Hearing Smells Like Teen Spirit, In the Name of Love I Will Always Love You, among others, takes away the distance of early 20th century Paris. The sets and special effects add to the magical effect of the songs.

Even the most jaded viewers will appreciate the antics of the supporting cast: the loud Moulin Rouge owner, Christian's dwarf sidekick, the duke's stone-faced bodyguard and the play's narcoleptic lead actor.

Moulin Rouge is a visual and aural spectacle that no one should miss. It proves that a story shouldn't be original to be good. It just has to be told well.

By: TWOSTAR
October 2001

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