The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    ‘Spectacular, spectacular’

    No laws. No limits. One rule: never fall in love. This is the motto of the latest Baz Luhrmann film.

    He does it again as he adds the third film to his “Red Curtain” trilogy. His first movie, “Strictly Ballroom,” uses dance to tell the story. His second film, “Romeo and Juliet,” uses Shakespearean language. And the conclusion of his trilogy, “Moulin Rouge,” is told through song.

    “Moulin Rouge” also follows Luhrmann’s tradition of using strange and creative camera angles to tell his story. If you have seen any of Luhrmann’s films, you will understand the almost dizzy sensation felt while watching the movie. The unique cinematography also can leave a person with that blank look of, “What just happened here?” Instead of a serious plot to tell a tragic story, the movie plays on songs laced with comedic performances.

    “Moulin Rouge” is molded after a tragic 19th-century novel set in Paris. Its purpose is to explain what the Moulin Rouge meant to the audiences of 1899 and express the same thrills and excitement that today’s moviegoers can relate to.

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    “Moulin Rouge” opens with the young impoverished writer Christian, played by Ewan McGregor, typing his tragic tale of the dangerous underground world of Montmatre. He soon falls in love with a group of Bohemians and their motto of truth, beauty, freedom and, above all things, love.

    Christian and the Bohemians realize they can help one another. The Bohemians want to sell their show to the Moulin Rouge, and Christian has the talent to make the show “Spectacular, spectacular.” This group of misfits ventures into the dark underworld of drugs, sex, passion and electricity known as the Moulin Rouge.

    The Bohemians know that in order to sell their show they must first obtain the interest of the lead courtesan, Satine, played by Nicole Kidman. Unknown to the Bohemians, the owner of the Moulin Rouge, Harold Zidler, already has arranged a meeting between a wealthy duke and Satine, the “Sparkling Diamond.” What follows is a comical sequence of deceit and seductive dialogue.

    The duke becomes interested in the show but only will invest if he can have Satine, thus, keeping the deeds to the Moulin Rouge until he owns her. But Christian also dares to love her. Satine soon learns she cannot deny the yearning in her heart to love this poor poet. They embark upon a dangerous journey of love, song and ultimate tragedy.

    Ewan McGregor captures everyone’s breath as he belts out song after song throughout the movie. This role is very different from his previous roles in “Star Wars: Episode I” and “Black Hawk Down.” Even though his voice is a bit weak, he is successful in the role of a singer.

    Nicole Kidman, however, proves to her ex-husband Tom Cruise and the world that she can make it on her own. Many of her previous movies were filmed with Cruise. “Moulin Rouge” became her breakthrough in film and life. She sings all of her songs herself and captures the seductive look of a Parisian courtesan with ease.

    The most memorable part of the movie is the soundtrack and dance scenes. The film includes songs from artists, such as Sting, Madonna, Nirvana and Elton John. The remake of “Lady Marmalade,” however, is the one that made a mark on the real Moulin Rouge. The Paris nightclub was anything but impressed at the risque video that accompanied the remake.

    Still, the film is far less atrocious. The actors are more covered than the scandalous Christina Aguilera. The show portrays the hard work and brilliance of the nightclub. Only “Moulin Rouge” can take you from the lively French Can-Can, to the seductive Spanish Tango, to the suave, painful-looking movements of the Indian dance.

    If you believe in truth, beauty, freedom or love, this Bohemian movie will inspire you. Trust me, I am not a fan of love stories, but “Moulin Rouge” is so much more than a love story. It can make a person laugh, cry, sing and yearn to dance as it pulls one onto an emotional roller coaster into the Parisian underworld.

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