A Pioneer of Modern Musical Movie
Release Year: 2001
Distributor : 20th Century Fox
Director : Baz Luhrmann
Producer : Baz Luhrmann/ Fred Baron / Martin Brown
Screenplay: Baz Luhrmann/ Craig Pearce
Cast : Nicole Kidman/ Ewan McGregor
Music : Craig Armstrong/ Marius de Vries
Cinematography : Donald McAlpine
Editing : Jill Bilcock
Budget : $50 million
Duration : 127 minutes
Moulin Rouge! (2001) was a Baz Luhmann’s movie. This story was based on opera La Traviata created by Gluseppe Verdi. It was starred by Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGreggor, Jim Broadbent and John Leguizamo. Not only commercially succeeded, but it also critically succeeded, getting tens prestigious awards including Golden Globe and Academy Awards.
Christian (McGreggor) was a British writer who was seeking a fortune in Paris in 19th century. Christian lived at Montmartre, a district in Paris at Bohemian Revolutionary era. Unexpectedly, Christian met a group of theater which was led by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Leguizamo) who appreciated his talent. Henri engaged him propose their show to Harold Zidler (Broadbent) the owner of a well-known cabaret show. Moulin Rouge. At Moulin Rogue, he met a courtesan named Satine (Kidman) and fell in love with her. But Duke of Monroth also fell in love with her.
As the common plot of musical film, it told about career, dream, romance and tragedy. The musical segment had been integrated with the story. so what were the differences? Moulin Rouge had a 19th century’s background, however the music were contemporers like Nirvana, Madonna, Queen, David Bowie, Nat King Cole, up to OST of Sound of Music. Almost all of the musical segment used a piece of many songs which were sweetly combined. The lyrics were adjusted with the scenes. It just had one original song Come What May sang by Kidman and McGreggor.
It was the value-added that all of the musical segments were sang by its own casting, as we know, they were not a professional singer. Kidman had proved that she also could sing. Besides her beauty, her performance as a dying courtesan took many sympathetic. Another shining star was Broadbent who played malignant as Harold Zidler. While McGreggor was playing superficial.
From the aesthetic aspect, practically its settings costumes, the choreography, cinematography and editing technique, they were fascinating. From the unique opening logo, signalize that this movie was a theatrical. The setting was designed to seem artificial, Satine’s room for instance, which was located above “the elephant”. Some of the musical sequences were provided unusually like a video clip with choreography, dynamic camera movement, quick editing, and fast-motion and slow motion technique. Moulin Rouge! Can be said as a pioneer of modern musical movie.