Friday, 21 October 2011

Movie Review - Moulin Rogue

The style of this film and story is set to be a fairy - like musical that centres around the very obvious theme of love. "Christian and Satine often serenade each other, using snippets of modern day rock love ballads, which I guess is supposed to make this turn of the century romantic fable more relevant to the teenagers of the turn of this century." (Gonsalves, 2008) A lot of the songs are taken from other artists as a way to commute a more modern culture for an up to date audience so that they can relate to the story better. The songs create a familiar sense of fairy tale alongside all the theatrical sets and characters, the plot develops on the typical love story using the songs as a secret code for how Christian and Satine truly feel towards each other.

Figure 1, (2011), Christian and Satine

The director gives a lot of the story away through hints and how the story arcs with the show that Christian and performers of the Moulin Rouge use to disguise the truth. "We know the ending of Moulin Rogue! at the beginning. There is no need to stop and actually consider the developments or invest time in teasing the intricacies of the plot out... What is Moulin Rouge! about? Truth, beauty, freedom and above all love." (Kupo, 2010) There is not much for the viewer to wonder which way the story will turn because the viewers are experiencing a second similar story during the production Spectacular Spectacular, in the film in which the characters are stereotypes of the actual characters in the film, Christian is the poor guitar player, Satine is the courtesan and Duke is the Maharaja. It plays on the idea of how Christian can offer Satine truth and love, whereas Duke cast as the rich and powerful villain can offer her the world and her dreams of become a star. The film chooses the route that is inspired from classic love stories, of freedom, to break the boundaries  that forces them apart. However, the end of the film has more of a Romeo and Juliet influence to visualise the consequences of Satine's decision as her illness kills her, it marks to the audience that actually they are not destined a happy ever after.

Figure 2, (2011), Cast of Moulin Rouge’s theatrical show ‘Spectacular’

Moulin Rouge also takes inspiration from Characters and stories of classic Disney fairy tales. "...or when Kylie Minogue appears spreading her magic dust as a Tinker-Bell-like fairy, one wants to applaud. But then almost every shot is as demanding of our appreciation and after a while of patting yourself on the back for 'getting' Moulin Rouge's many references, watching this breathless, over-excited film becomes wearisome." (Arroyo, 2001) The director of this film interweaves many stories happening at once, all taken from inspiration from character's stories to make their purpose in the film seem credible, Satine is similiar to Cinderella because the character has also been kept in the dark from true love and expected to carry out the tasks set by her master. Her meeting with Christian helps Satine to realise that she actually longs to be free of the lies and faked world she comes from.      

Figure 3, (2011), Ending of show and film

Illustration List 

Figure 1, (2011), Christian and Satine, @, Accessed on: 8th April 2008

Figure 2, (2011), Cast of Moulin Rouge’s theatrical show ‘Spectacular’, @, Accessed on: 15th July 2011 

Figure 3, (2011), Ending of show and film,, Accessed on: 2011


Arroyo, (2001), BFI Sight and Sound, @, Accessed on: 2001

Gonsalves Rob, (2008), E Film - Moulin Rouge, @, Accessed on: 18th July 2008

Kupo, (2010), Erotics, Postmodernism and Moulin Rouge, @, Accessed on: 7th February 2010


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