Moulin Rouge film review
Moulin Rouge is a film about a wannabe bohemian writer who meets a courtesan at the Moulin rouge, they instantly fall in love yet they cannot be together because of ‘the Duke’ he is a jealous man that has lots of money and wants to keep the courtesan to himself. The film Moulin Rouge has been made many times but the one that this review is about is the Baz Luhrmann 2001 edition. The cast includes Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman and Jim Broadbent.
The film is a musical and therefore has a lot of music in. The film starts of with Toulouse-Lautrec singing a song about a man who came to France and fell in love with a dying woman. This is a very powerful beginning because it is a song about death, which within itself is a powerful and emotional subject. This starts works very well because it drags the audience member into the story and gets their mind wondering about why there is a crying man with a small man singing. It sets the story in many ways; one way is the background images, these are used in a very clever way; at the beginning of the song there is a picture of the Moulin Rouge ‘red windmill’. This is clever because it shows that the film is set around the Moulin Rouge. Also the camera/green screen work during the song is clever because it ‘flies’ through Paris to the flat where the man is crying. This gives you a sense of travel. Another thing to make the story stand out is Toulouse himself, he is wearing the costume that he wears at the end of the film. The thing that makes this film special is that it is a story that is being told after is had happened, i.e. it is a book that is being told as it is being written.
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Throughout the film there are songs, these are fit into the film in a very clever way. The songs have been cut up and put together to make a medley that fits into the storyline, i.e. a lot of Elton John’s songs are used along with Queen and other bands. This is clever because it adds a lot of dramatic effect to the film. When the Moulin Rouge is getting made into a theatre and the owner finds out that the courtesan and the writer are going out he sings a song called ‘the show must go on’ originally by Queen. This song fits in very well because it is about carrying on even though something horrible has just been found out. The songs are very useful to the film because they back up the point of the story and what is happening at that point in the story.
Another thing that makes the film special is the acting, as silly as it sounds. The actors in Moulin Rouge are very versatile because they can act, sing and dance. Because the film is a musical it is crucial that the actors can sing. Some actors can sing but have never tried, before Moulin Rouge, Ewan McGregor had never sung in a film and when he did he surprised himself. It turned out he was a very good singer. The actors not only have to sing but they also have to be able to work together very well. A lot of actors are working so intimately that they en up having a relationship because of it. In Moulin Rouge, Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman have to work very closely together because they are acting as if they are a couple just starting in a relationship.
The major thing in film making is money. Moulin Rouge cost £32.8 million to make, but this doesn’t matter because it made £75 million so the costs were recovered. It made over £8.7 million in the first weekend of the release and was an international success. There were a few problems with making the film; one of the major problems was time, the dresses that the cancan dancers wore each took 2 weeks to make. Most of the budget got spent on costumes and the set.
On big problem with the film is the continuity, there are lots of scenes that have different things in them i.e. the narcoleptic Argentinean walks down the steps in the finale ‘Spectacular! Spectacular!’ to join the dancers and then in the next shot he is seen walking down the steps again. Another bad continuity is when Christian and Satine are in the elephant, sometimes Christian’s bowtie is on and sometimes it is off.
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Another problem with the film is film crews getting in shots. This happens surprisingly often. In many scenes there are arms and legs caught in shot. I.e. in ‘Roxanne’ there is a pair of crew members wearing black tops and modern black trousers on the right of the screen, they are very visible especially when you know they are there. This isn’t very good for a £32 million film.
In the film there is also a problem with the actors they are wearing modern things that shouldn’t be seen, also part of the body can be seen when they are not supposed to be shown, i.e. when the bohemians are outside there flat, the actor that plays Toulouse (John Leguizamo) is standing on the wall and his knee can be seen where his foot is meant to be.
The film overall is very, very good. I think that the film is very good for a number of reasons, it is not only the acting that is amazing but the sets and the costumes are fantastic too. I think the thing that makes the film stand out from all the others is that it is a very vibrant, fast paced yet very nice to watch as a family sort of film. As I’ve said there are many problems with the film once you start looking closely but if you don’t know about them then they cannot be noticed. The film is fantastic and will always be a favourite of mine.