Moulin Rouge: The Good and The Bad

Moulin Rouge the film that launched the rebirth of musical cinema and to be really honest I never thought that I would actually watch this film. I was recommended this film by a couple of friends when I went to see The Hobbit 2 when we were talking about the Nostalgia Critic and how he did a musical review on it and I really liked it. My friends said that it was a good film and after months of patiently waiting for it to be shown on TV I finally got to watch it.

The Good

With this film there are a number of good things about this film. One being the old fairy tale type story between Christian, played by Ewan McGregor and Santine, played by Nicole Kidman. It’s the basic love at first sight story but with the slight twist that Santine has to fall for another guy called the Duke who has the means of financing the Moulin Rouge and have it turn into a theatre and also Santine knows that she is slowly dying from poisoning and she doesn’t let anyone emotionally close to her to know. I mean there have been a load of films that have had the love at first sight stories, hell Disney had made a profit from doing films like this. But with what happens in the film its one of the many things that I liked about the film.

The next thing that I liked were some of the song choices that were in the film, though this was also a bad thing which I will say in the next part. I liked a number of the songs either that they were well put for the emotions of the film, especially in the scene where the members of the production company are practicing a dance routine and the song that there singing is Roxanne, not only with the dance going on it goes well with the two other stories that go on with Santine forced to have a meal with the Duke but you also have Christian in a tortured state of mind on what his true feelings of Santine are. It also a well choreographed scene and one of the best parts of the film. Not only is the music used for seriousness but it also used as well for a weird comedy scene, mainly between The Duke and Harold Zidler where you have them singing Like a Virgin and my god is it a weird scene, but even though it was a weird scene after a few viewings it is really funny and another good moment.

Finally from the good was the end scene, it was a well put together scene where beforehand Santine had broke up with Christian because, as I stated before, she was dying. This then leads to the first night show where Christian finds to get a way onto the stage and starts degrading her in-front of the audience as she was no better than a common prostitute. But then the dwarf manages to get them to see the error of their ways with love and they then reunite and then the Duke tries to kill either Christian or Santine, possibly both, but fails and the gun goes hurtling out of the window, defying the laws of physics. This then leads to Santine in her last minutes of life and she dies in Christians arms this then leads to back at the beginning of the film where Christian is sitting in his room with the many pages of his experience and is possibly the saddest scene in the entire film.

 The Bad

Where there good there is always bad and for me there are many bad things about this film. The first I thought that some of the characters in the film where not good or bad but there were many points that I thought that it bordered on the ridiculous. The first character that I found ridiculous was the Duke I just found him to be an absolute control freak and there was such a over acting performance played as well. Plus even though that he says ‘I don’t like it when people touch my things’ he just walks out of the Moulin Rouge after failing to kill Christian or Santine. Other than that I found some of the other characters to be slightly annoying and just wondering why they are there including the woman that drops hints at the Duke that Christian and Santine are more than acting partners. Another person that’s just there for a scene is when a guy comes out of nowhere and punches the Duke and manages to save Santine.

The next bad thing for me about the film is a majority of all the songs that were used in the film were all modern songs. To be fair most of the songs were also used for the majority of the script. Other than that I thought that it was too much. I mean with the songs that I mentioned beforehand went good with the film there were many that just where absolutely mad and strange. The first being basically the opening line from Sound of Music, then there was Lady Marmalade when they arrived at the Moulin Rouge and then when Santine and Christian first met there were so many love song titles sung it was so annoying. Also the film said the world love more times than the combined title reigns of Ric Flare, the Green Bay Packers and Boston Celtics.

Finally the thing that I most hated about the film was why would Santine hide such a big secret from Christian. I mean sure it would have been such a more shorter film if they did have Santine confessing that she was dying and then it would have more focused around the last days between Christian and Santine. But if it was done on more of a modern day it would have been better if more people knew that she was dying, I think even Zidler knew that she was dying but still she just powered on to do what was best for her and the Moulin Rouge. If this situation were to ever happen to me I would want to make sure that she was actually okay because then that would be the true reason of love coming out instead of the hours (well days in the film) of building up a secret romance to be then revealed that she was on her last stand. It’s still a thing that I can’t wrap my head around but I guess that’s for other people to decide. But I think that a reason behind it that Santine didn’t want to hurt Christian feelings and she decides to try and be the bad guy by saying that she never loved him, even though she really does. Then he goes on to berate her in front of an audience to calling her a prostitute and paying her for her services. But if Christian really loved her I think that he wouldn’t have went to crash the play and he would have found out later that she had died. But I don’t think that would have been interesting at all to have seen. But when he said all the cruel things to her and the dwarf managed to get them back together was a strange part because if anyone was to do that nowadays it would have ended up with somebody being punched.


For this film I thought that it was a really good film and it brought musical films back into main stream cinema with films like Chicago or Les Mis but we should also blame them for films like High School Musical. Other than that it is a good film that does deliver with good musical numbers even being jukebox styled. I give it a 8/10.  


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