Directed by Baz Luhrmann. Australia. 2001.

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Once in a while there are those movies that come out and you know absolutely nothing about them. You may have seen a trailer or a commercial for one of these movies, but those can be very misleading. So I ventured off one day, got a buddy and we headed to the local theatre. We both decided on seeing one of those above mentioned movies, and this one happened to be Moulin Rouge. Little did I know that I would soon be sucked into a world of a wondrous spectacle of glamour, glitz, love, and yes, even music.

The theatre going experience wasn't all that spectacular though. It was filled with grimy teenagers who just had to talk as loud as possible, and 90 year old women who couldn't hear the movie, so they kept asking their daughters what a character had just said. About 9 people left within the first 15 minutes, and another one almost every 20 minutes. This is obviously not a movie for everyone, but if you have an open mind and a thirst for good movies, then this is for you.

The movie begins in Paris in 1900. Christian (Ewan McGregor) sits at his typewriter ready to share his experiences of the Moulin Rouge with us.  Christian comes to the Moulin Rouge with nothing, hoping to start a life there. He meets the bohemians, including Toulouse Lautrec (John Leguizamo) and wants to be one of them. He tremendously believes in everything the bohemians stand for: Truth, beauty, freedom, and love. When the bohemians fall upon Christian's undeniable talents as a writer, they ask him to write the show that they've been working on for the Moulin Rouge. Christian happens to meet Satine (Nicole Kidman) who is the club's most sought after courtesan. He woos her with his song and words, and the two hopelessly fall for each other. Zidler (Jim Broadbent), the owner of the Moulin Rouge, is eager to find a financier for the show. He gets the duke (Richard Roxburgh) to do this. The duke also wants Satine, and he is incredibly jealous of her and Christian's love. The show goes on, and Satine dies of consumption (tuberculosis) while performing the show (Spectacular Spectacular). Christian had no idea she was sick, and he loses the only thing he has dreamed of all his life... love.

Okay, so the story may not be completely original, but the filmmaking of this movie is absolutely incredible. The editing will leave you breathless at times, and the vivid colours are a feast for the eyes. It was audacious in every way possible.  The movie uses modern songs to tell the story. The two leads pull off their singing with extreme ease. I, for one would have never figured either of them could sing this well. Wow!

Overall, I found this movie to be truly groundbreaking. Many people say it re-invented the musical. A completely daring original movie, that is no doubt one of the best of 2001. 

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