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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Movie: Moulin Rouge 
8th-Apr-2010 08:57 am
I finally saw Moulin Rouge. Once I was willing to go with the dichotomy of thinking and presentation, I think I enjoyed it. If nothing else, it was a pleasure to watch Nichole Kidman (Satine). Rawr! And really, her singing wasn't bad either.

I think that the movie concept flowed out of the delirious ravings of a headcold-ravaged parent of a colicky baby after one too many nights of all-night radio. I can just see those Sudafed-bloodshot eyes gazing sightlessly through the unopened NyQuil bottle as the vapid words "and the princess and the goatherd lived happily ever after..." trailed off into coughing. And thus the concept of putting The Sound of Music in the same movie as The Bodyguard was born.

The costuming was created by someone who thought that the masquerade scene in Phantom of the Opera didn't have enough color or fabric. The set design included input from everyone from Bollywood and Disney's finest down to Jemmie, the high school dropout groundskeeper of the local putt-putt golf course. The farcical caricatures that ringed the characters were so comical that I wanted to stop and follow those side stories down into the alleyways. Because of the methodology of presentation, I kept expecting the theater to go up in flames at the end. I didn't appreciate the funhouse-grins that were shown in the cancan opening scene, but it helped keep the entire scene offset and alien. The most predictable line in the show was "Because she doesn't love YOU!" and was right on cue. Despite his strong resemblance to an actor I don't like, I think I actually sympathized with the Duke more than with Christian. The "Roxanne" tango scene was gritty and dramatic, and stayed with me for a long time.

I don't know that I'd sit right down and see it again, but I can see showing it to Mom sometime if she hasn't seen it (once she's in the right mood for someone to die of illness on screen). In the meantime, I'll lust after the costume closet. Wow those were fantastic costumes. just... wow. Want.

ETA: Ok, after re-reading this and discussing it with D_Muse, I agree that I don't sound very positive. So I'll reiterate: I think I liked it. I am not a fan of situational comedy, and sometimes farce gets to me too. In contrast to that, I have to say that the moments of elegance, passion, and pathos were simply lovely. The cinematography was exciting. And in the end, there's always the costuming. mmmmmm.
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8th-Apr-2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
I can totally believe that.
8th-Apr-2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
We saw Baz Luhrmann's version of La Boheme on Broadway shortly after MR came out, and it was done very much in the same style as the film, with nearly as fantastic costumes; of course, there were some limits on what they were able to do live, but it was still pretty amazing.
8th-Apr-2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Wow. I saw La Boheme at Wolf Trap with GSH, and it was a very sparse set. I can't imagine it in the same vein as Moulin Rouge. That would be eye-popping!
8th-Apr-2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
There are so many people who hate that movie, but I love it. Tango Roxanne is brilliant, and I love it in part because of the contrast of the rough voice and the beautiful dancing.
8th-Apr-2010 02:31 pm (UTC)
And of course who doesn't like the Lady Marmalade video?
8th-Apr-2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
I didn't recognize the song, and so can't tell you where it was in the movie.
8th-Apr-2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
It wasn't in the movie, it was an extra. I'm sure you can google Lady Marmalade.
It was a 70's song redone by Christine Agularia, Pink, Lil Kim, and Maya.
8th-Apr-2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
It is in the movie briefly, in the cancan sequence; they just don't use the whole thing.
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