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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 8 April 2005
If you dismiss the premise behind Moulin Rouge (a love story set in Bohemian Paris, told largely through song with scant regard for the restraints of reality) as improbable and almost absurd, you may miss one of the best films of recent years. Only in the skilled hands of Baz Luhrman could such a feat be pulled off: it IS pulled off, and spectacularly so. The film flickers from the hilarious to the dark and tragic, and despite the unashamed flamboyance and craziness of the world of the Moulin Rouge, no character (except possibly the naïve Christian - Ewan McGregor) is at all simplified. Behind the scenes and beyond the façade of garish physical pleasure that makes up the Moulin Rouge, we see the human face of the buffoon-like Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent), the secret hopes and dreams of Satine (Nicole Kidman), the giggling courtesan, and the dark and dangerous core of jealousy behind the apparently absurd and utterly ridiculous Duke (Richard Roxburgh.)
The story itself is extremely powerful, and the use of some of the most famous songs of the last thirty years simply gives it wings. The hilarious take on Madonna's Like a Virgin provides one of the funniest moments of the film, and the declaration of love through Elton John's Song, and the following famous love medley (set in and on a giant jewel encrusted elephant, no less, in which the two lovers dance around a miniature Paris to the crooning of a singing moon) must be one of the most romantic declarations of love in any film, ever. This most powerful scene, however, must go to the 'Roxanne' tango number: the kind of stuff that gives you goosebumps up the back of your neck. McGregor and Kidman actually singing always threatened to be a weak link, but they get away with it, and their acting is solid throughout. While Broadbent gives an excellent comic performance two of the best showings are from Caroline O'Connor, as Nini, and John Leguizamo, as Henri Toulouse-Latrec. The fact that neither of these two are in starring roles demonstrates the depth and consistency of talent that make up the fabric of the film.
Most of all, Moulin Rouge is special because of its cinematography: totally lavish colours and lights make up a surreal kaleidoscope of wealth and depravity. At its heart, yes: it's a story about love, overcoming all obstacles. But it's the storytelling itself that makes this among the most memorable films of recent years.
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on 28 January 2002
I bet that many others who went to see Moulin Rouge at the cinema had mixed expectations of what this film would be like. I was one of them. Before I saw it, I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it, but oh how wrong I was!! This film took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, with some extremely funny and sad bits set in Bohemian Paris and made it the best musical on the big screen...ever!! Yes, even beating Oklahoma! :)
The gorgeous Ewan McGregor is fantastic in his role as Christian (what a singing voice!) as is Nicole Kidman. The entire cast help to make this an unforgetable film (good example is the "El Tango De Roxanne" scene!)
I really enjoyed this film (went to see it 4 times at the cinema!), have pre-booked my copy and would encourage those who haven't seen it to do the same!!
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on 28 December 2001
I would have to recommend this film to all the cynics out there who haven't yet fallen under the spell of the Moulin Rouge. I watched in utter bewliderment at first at the madness that stunned my fellow cinema goers! I was then swept away in the fairytale like world that Moulin Rouge creates. Both Nicole and Ewan were every bit the entertainers they portrayed, Nicoles voice was strong and etheral, Ewan shocked me in so much as I never knew he could even sing! I was crying like a baby by the end of the film and praying it would not take long for the release of the Dvd! Thankfully I will not have to wait long as America has already released it! If you haven't already seen it go enrich your life!
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on 1 December 2002
I originally saw this film at the cinema because it starred the talented Ewan McGregor. My opinion of him was not let down by this film, if anthing, I am a bigger fan because of it. The film is superb. It is well written, well directed, has fanatastically choreographed scenes, stunning music and brilliant acting from the two stars (Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman) as well as the awesome supporting cast. The film is hilarious, romantic and tragic all at once. It really makes you feel is if you know the characters and are with them in the Moulin Rouge. There is a wide range of music from Nirvana to David Bowie, and no matter how reserved a person you are, you won't be able to stop yourself from singing along. After watching the film I was forced to agonizingly wait for the film to be released on DVD but luckily, I had the soundtracks to keep me going. The DVD is excellent, containing deleted scenes, commentary, interviews and a look in at the costume designs and dance rehearsals as well as hidden extras for the devoted fan. Moulin Rouge is a must for anyone, anywhere.
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on 15 November 2004
This is a fantastic, weird and wonderful musical. The songs are just brilliant and the story line itself is so beautifully romantic. This film is recommended for people who like something out of the ordinary and is a softy deep down.
Great film, very well made with a fab soundtrack. Highly recommended.*****
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on 15 June 2014
Moulin Rouge was one of those films that I completely loathed when I was younger. A flashy, hyper-energetic musical that had Obi-Wan Kenobi singing in it was not the type of film that suited the tastes of a sci-fi loving nine year old male. My initial disdain for the film left that impression on me for years as I felt the film was nothing more than a pretentious mess from Baz Luhrmann who is often slated for his frantic and over-indulgent style of filmmaking. I eventually gave into rewatching the film after a friend of mine from drama school recommended me to watch it again. After reluctantly giving in, I was utterly blown away by this film. I realised that my original views were really short-sighted and that Moulin Rouge is an excellent piece of cinema.

I've never been much of a fan of musicals aside from Rocky Horror, Sweeney Todd and Les Miserables and I may have been predisposed to dislike the film at first. But Moulin Rouge has a distinct quality to it that separates it from other musicals. Baz Luhrmann's background in opera gives the film a unique sense of grandness and pace. Some like to label this film as a guilty pleasure because of its over-the-top style and thin plot but Moulin Rouge is not technically supposed to be a film with a meaty and original story. The film is similar in fashion to something like Rocky Horror Picture Show or Flash Gordon in that it is intentionally delivered in a campy and tongue-in-cheek manner. It knows how flamboyant it is and has fun with itself.

That's not to say that the film is devoid of anything resembling good filmmaking however. What sells the film are the dynamic performances from the cast. Ewan McGregor is completely believable as Christian, delivering a charismatic portrayal of a lustful and somewhat naive man enraptured by the world of the Moulin Rouge. His singing does occasionally crack in places but it works in the emotional delivery he gives and his voice on the whole is terrific. Nicola Kidman provides a terrific performance as the sultry Satine, whose promiscuity contrasts with Christian's innocent look on love and she also provides some sweet vocals. McGregor and Kidman have great chemistry together and both emulate the naive childlike romance the two share together that ends tragically, a relationship that Luhrmann previously explored in his Romeo and Juliet adaptation. Jim Broadbent provides a great flamboyant performance as Zidler and Richard Roxburgh is hilarious as the temperamental and mouth-watering villainous Duke (a much more credible performance than his turn as Dracula in the godawful Van Helsing).

Just as he brought Shakespeare to life through the MTV generation, Luhrmann combines rave culture of the late 90s with the Bohemian lifestyle of 1890s Parisians (Moulin Rouge was only produced at the start of the millennium which explains its more 90s feel). Luhrmann is a director who often blends contemporary culture with the past just as he did recently in The Great Gatsby and he employs it to good effect in this film. The 90s were often a time when love was portrayed from an innocent viewpoint only to be sullied by the culture of drugs. Luhrmann conveyed this also in Romeo and Juliet with the eponymous characters' naive love ending in suicide. Here, he compares dying from tuberculosis to death from an overdose.

The songs in Moulin Rouge (with the exception of 'Come What May') are all covers and mashups of popular songs which seems unoriginal of the film yet they compliment the tone and scenery of the film greatly. Jukebox musicals only tend to work when the songs reflect the themes and/or fit in against the backdrop. Musicals like We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia fail in that regard because they are more like bad karaoke performances of your favourite songs by popular bands. Moulin Rouge employs this differently by allowing the songs to fit in with the characters' emotions. The 'Le Tango de Roxanne' scene works especially as it conveys Christian's intense love for Satine yet also displays the dark secret that Satine possesses. The film looks great too. The setting of 19th century Paris is brought to life by the psychedelic glamorous visuals and the climax of 'Come What May' is brought to life in spectacular fashion at the end.

Moulin Rouge is quite possibly my favourite musical and definitely one of those films that you have to love (despite my apathy for it as a pre-teen youngster). The performances in the film are absolutely terrific and the production design envelopes you in. The story isn't the most original but it doesn't need to be for you to be enamoured and bewildered by the experience. It's one of those films that is meant to be more of an emotional piece of filmmaking rather than cerebral and in that regard, it is tremendous. 10/10
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on 3 October 2004
This is one of my all time favourite films. It is so amazing, you haven't lived until you've seen it! The story line is excellent, the music is thrilling, the actors sparkle in their roles and the whole film is simply Spectacular Spectacular! With a star studded cast, addictive music, powerful performances and cracking comedy, it's the best musical ever made. The costumes and dances also deserve a mention - brilliant! It's the funniest, liveliest, most enjoyable tragic love story you will ever see! 10 out of 10!!!
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on 7 March 2011
First off let me say that I think this is a great film, I like it so much that I have now purchased the BluRay and it is the disc I am reviewing not the movie.

Blu Rays are the best way to make the most of your expensive HD TV but most Blu Rays tend to be a waste of the format - they just seem to port the DVD copy over to the Blu Ray disc so I always try to buy films that make the most of the format.
For Moulin Rouge I saw that the film had been "redone with the approval of Baz" so I thought - yes this would be good, the amazing colours and extraordinary scenes of this film will really make a great viewing experience.
In my opinion it is a bit hit and miss; some of the scenes have been done in HD while others are left looking very grainy and the colours are much less vibrant

All of the BluRay mini documentaries have all been shot in standard definition and to make this appear less obvious all of these are played within a small window which lets about half your screen go to waste.

The sound quality and various dolby options are fantastic - it is almost worth upgrading purely for the improved sound quality over the DVD.

All in all not the most amazing blu ray but one well worth having if you do not own the DVD, otherwise if you are thinking of getting this be sure you have a decent surround system.
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on 5 October 2009
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return..."

This film is amazing and even before the end it was apparent that this film was fast becoming my favourite of all time.
Under superb direction from the genius that it Baz Luhurmann, 'Moulin Rouge' is a riot of colour and music with a beautiful plot.
Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman were perfect for the roles of Satine and Christian, and they led the cast with fantastic performances. The music is brilliant; many famous names are included in the soundtrack (P!nk, David Bowie, Christina Aguilara, Rufus Wainwright, Beck & Timbaland) as well as outstanding performances from the two leads.
Overall, one of the best films I've EVER seen.... I congratulate Baz Luhurmann on yet another masterpiece!
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on 18 January 2004
You either love it or you hate it. I'm one of those people who love it. The camera work may be overdone in the opening minutes but as the film progresses it slows down to a more enjoyable speed which allows you to take in the full splendor of the lush sets and costumes. The music is wonderfully reworked into a dramtic style and is surprisingly well delivered by the cast. The two leads both have good voices but the actor who surpised me the most was Jim Broadbent, who will make you laugh out loud (or cringe with embarrasment!) in Like a Virgin but who is actually quite touching in The Show Must Go On. The plot, though admitably paper-thin, is relitivly involving and I found myself caring for the fate of these doomed, if somewhat shallow, lovers. The reason for losing a star is partly because the villian of the piece who, dispite the hammy nature of the whole film, is over the top and totally unbelievable (and besides, his eyebrows are a funny shape) but mostly because there are far better versions of this DVD available. If you enjoyed this film I suggest you buy the two-disk DVD or better still, a package of all three of Baz Luhrmans films, which are as good as, if not better than this one.
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