Dear "Moulin Rouge"

I wanted to love you, “Moulin Rouge.” I really did. I saw the commercials, which made you look like a stunning visual masterpiece. I heard the buzz surrounding your arrival, which got me pumped about seeing you. I saw that you had Nicole Kidman, whom I love, as one of your stars, so I decided that I would go to see you.

To tell you the truth, “Moulin Rouge,” I DID like you. A whole lot. I thought that your story, while not the most creative in the world, had enough twists on the old formula to keep you interesting. Your farcical use of modern songs (especially “Like a Virgin” and “Heroes”) had me laughing heartily, and your use of “Roxanne” actually succeeded in making Sting sound dark and foreboding. Kidman did a wonderful job, as did, and I’ll admit this even though my SO is currently infatuated with him, Ewan McGregor. Hell, you even had John Leguizamo playing a midget with a lisp! (This being, of course, the only part that John Leguizamo is fit to play).

But alas, Rougey, I did not love you. There was something there, something that got in the way of my ever being able to say that you were a “wonderful” movie.

This dark cloud over your silver quality, this urine in your breakfast cereal, was, I hate to say it, the entire first half an hour of you.

While watching you during these opening scenes, it became apparent that your director, Baz Luhrmann, attempted to edit your introductory sequences and nightclub dance scenes while under the influence of speed. What resulted was a nauseating churn of tantric camera angles, none of which lasted for more than 2 seconds. The entire first night club scene was reduced to nothing more than fleeting glimpses of colorful hoop skirts and scary ladies with too much make-up on.

Baz, I know that you were just trying to show the confusion of a place like your Moulin Rouge. The only problem is that the entire scene looked more like an acid flashback than a nightclub. Instead of forcing your actors to pose for quick millisecond shots, you could have expanded the scenes just a BIT, and let them actually, get this, act. Once you slowed things the Hell down, your movie got to be very good. But, alas, the memory of that first half hour lingered, and put a damper on any emotional flame you were trying to light.

So, I’m sorry, “Moulin Rouge,” but your story of a play about a poor Indian minstrel was good, but not great.

You made me like you, but not love you.

In other words, you were close, but no sitar. :smiley:

I just can’t win over here. Just so everybody knows, the topic line was supposed to say “Dear “Moulin Rouge,””.

Was it the quotation marks that screwed it up?

Fixed it for you. Yay, me.

That was my favorite part, I thought the second half dragged…

Well, I loved it. I’ll admit, the first bit made me a bit sick, what with the hectic camera shots. But, I feel that the rest of the movie more than made up for it.

Jester, dear, as I saw the movie with you I don’t really need to say this, but for everyone else, I was in tears by the end. And I do NOT cry easily. I was with two of my other friends and they were sobbing beside me.

The whole theater, it seemed, was a live with sniffles and people blowing their noses.

Except the person behind me. They did not seem to be enjoying the movie. They showed this apparent dislike by kicking my seat multiple times every five minutes and talking right at the VERY END OF THE MOVIE!

I hate people like that. <sigh>

But, aside from them, I really, really thought the movie was wonderful.

Well, I loved “Moulin Rouge.” Yes, the editing is frenetic, but hey if you’ve already seen “Romeo + Juliet”
or “Strictly Balllroom” you had to know what you were in for.
I thought the principal actors acquitted themselves beautifully, even thought they are not trained vocalists. Thr big surprise was Jim Broadbent. I loved him in “Brazil”
as the plastic surgeon, in “Topsy-Turvy” as W.S. Gilbert, and as the Duke of Buckingham in “Richard III,” but I had no idea he could sing as well as did in the “The Show Must Go On” number with Nicole Kidman. I’m annoyed that it wasn’t included on the CD.
Hell, you even had John Leguizamo playing a midget with a lisp! (This being, of course, the only part that John Leguizamo is fit to play).


Ha! Clearly, you must have missed him as an action guy in “Executive Decision,” or as the rashly macho Tybalt in “Romeo + Juliet,” or as the foul and obese Clown in “Spawn,” or as the Latin drag queen in “To Wong Foo,
Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.” Leguizamo is like Robert Carlyle and Philip Seymour Hoffman in his ability to
disappear into a role with perfect verisimilitude.

I will admit the movie isn’t for everyone. My cousin and her husband said they would have left after the first 30 minutes if they hadn’t seen I was enjoying it so much. It is like Luhrmann crammed the last 150 years of musical hisotry into a Cuisinart and hit “frappe.” In the first scene alone, you had Offenbach, Nirvana, Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, and Fatboy Slim all in the same piece of music.

I will also be really cynical and say that the movie didn’t have an original frame in it, and that he banked on his Britney Spears-besotted, culturally illiterate, target demographic audience wouldn’t be able to tell that he basically repackaged the plot of “La Traviata” and “La Boheme” mixed in with plenty of melodramatic cliches. C’mon, today’s 18-34 audience thinks that Verdi and Puccini
are brands of spaghetti sauce. Heck, I mentioned to my cousin that it’s a shame they didn’t use Toulouse Lautrec’s posters and that the men in tuxedoes and pink tutus was a nice tip of the hat to Edgar Degas, and she didn’t know that I was talking about…and she’s a lawyer!

I adore the Bollywood musical, and you could tell that Luhrman was inspired by Indian cinema, particularly in the “Hindi Sad Diamonds” number. All they needed was a scene with the boy and girl chasing each other around a tree (the sine qua non of any masala musical.)

Hell…I’ll have to see it…I mean…EWAN MCGREGOR!!!

I loved it. Ya hafta expect that outta Baz though. Roxanne was my favorite musical number, and I am listening to it now with the benefit of Napster. I might write a review for MPSIMS, and I have a few spoiler questions.

I’m so relieved, I’m not the only one who was nauseated by the first bit…the people I discussed the movie with thought I was hallucinating comparing the screen in the first 30 minutes or so with a glitzy knockoff of “The Blair Witch Project.”

However, the mention of an unconscious Argentinian was somehow uproariously funny. I don’t know why…

Ah, vented about the first awful 30 minutes…:slight_smile:

Funny, I loved the first act, and thought it started to drag a bit when there wasn’t singing/dancing/Spectacular Spectacular on the screen.

But, Nicole Kidman was in almost every scene, so I’ve no complaints. :wink:

It took me two viewings to get it. The first scene in the Moulin Rouge takes place immediately after Christian gets his first hit of absinthe and sees the green fairy. So you’re seeing the ML through the eyes of some people hooked on some fairly powerful narcotics.

But like y’all, I was really grinding the teeth during the first half. It was SO over the top, and the director cuts the musical numbers like he’s doing a music video. But the second half really hit me in the gut, so when the movie ended, I snuck into “Pearl Harbor” (and got to see the bombing), then snuck back in for the 10:15 pm showing.

ML rewarded quite a lot on second viewing, because I could pay closer attention to the details and figure out more of what the actors were saying. It’s not a perfect film by any stretch, but I still love it for what it is. Especially with Nicole Kidmon in it.

The only thing that bothered me was the use of “Smells like Teen Spirit” at the beginning. Seriously, I could accept every other song in any other form (The Roxanne number blew me away. I’ll never be able to listen to it the same again) but somehow, I just could not accept all the smiling faces singing “Here we are now! Entertain us!” It just didn’t sit well with me.

It took me a little while to get into it, but it picked up for me after the absinthe fairy (although some of the editing of the club scene was… too frantic, yet way too slow?). I loved the middle. Middle great. Play at end great. Actual end, suck. My friends and I thought they did great as long as they were still mocking Naive Protagonist, but when they started to swallow their own hype… seemed like everything at the end besides the actual play within a play took four times as long as my watch was showing. I wanted to like you so much, Moulin Rouge. I did love you, in parts. But I was checking my watch, and that’s a movie’s death knell. Did buy the soundtrack, however, almost entirely on the strength of Roxanne and Hindi Sad Diamonds. I was disappointed that The Show Must Go On wasn’t on it.

Same here, but I suspect The Show Must Go On and
Like A Virgin will appear on More Songs From “Moulin Rouge”. I’ve noticed that the movie merchandising fiends tend to issue a second soundtrack CD if the first one sold well. I’m definitely buying the DVD when it comes out.

Me too, goboy, the day it comes out. It’s all I’ve been thinking about the past couple of days!
I wish the song they sang about the play to convince the Duke to pay for it was on the soundtrack. I enjoyed that one a great deal.

The critics were saying that it was a horrible movie. But as I see it, most of them are from a different generation than teens like me. I found it to be totally satisfying. I did like the use of the Carmen melody, and I also hated the use of Nirvana in that sense. They could have used the song in a better way. Oh well, I loved the absinthe fairy.

I found Moulin Rouge to be absolutely fantastic. As I described it to one person, “Half the time I was laughing hysterically, the other half the time my jaw was dropped in amazement.” I thought the part where they started singing Nirvana songs was hil-fucking-arious.

Immediately after we saw the movie, my friend went and bought the soundtrack.

My only beef is, yes, the final ending was WAY obvious. They could have tried to hide it coming a little. And, yes, it was stretched out a lot, but in my oh-so-humble opinion, it didn’t subtract from the quality of the film.

My scoring: I give it 7.4 out of 8.2 waffle irons.

Ah, all you Nirvana fiends…

I thought the use of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was perfect: Cynical, demanding, needy. Exactly the right tone for a bunch of self-absorbed rich boys slumming at the ML. So many of the tunes were done in ways unexpected, and yet completely suitable. I’ll never hear “Roxanne” again the same way, and Madonna’s music just got way more surreal.

Hands now: Who almost choked on their popcorn when the Absinthe Fairy popped-up? <<raises hand>>

Am I the only person who disliked the movie for its non-visual element? I thought it was nothing more than a hooker with a heart of gold story, with lots of wacky mix-ups at the beginning, and a neverending “I love him! But I can’t! But I love him!” thing at the end. In fact, I loved looking at the movie, it was just the actual storyline that couldn’t keep me interested.

I went to see it with five 11-year-old girls at a birthday party. They picked it at the last moment. I had absolutely no idea of what I was in for; hadn’t read any reviews. I can’t tell Nirvana from Teresa Brewer.

Okay, I loved the Green Absinthe Fairy, too. That was nice. Yes, the story was astoundingly stupid.

But the overall experience was like snorting a perfectly enormous amount of cocaine…zooming and zinging, jaw hanging slack to see what’ll happen next. Then a sharp descent into the yawning pit of depressed boredom (any scene without music, particularly those featuring the ghastly, talentless, funny-nosed Nicole Kidman, who does however have a cute ass). Then another greedy dip into the dear little gold-topped bottle, and you’re zooming up again with “Like a Virgin,” or “Roxanne.”

And like a long filthy cocaine binge, I came out of it feeling sordid, cheap, self-abusive and somehow lower and more bestial than my fellow human beings.

Oh, and the fifteenth time Elton John’s “Your Song” came around, I started banging my forehead on the seat in front of me. I’ve always hated that song and “Nature Boy,” and now I hate them a whole lot worse.