Christian (McGregor), a young poet, moves to Paris in 1900, there he meets Toulouse-Lautrec (Leguizamo) and his bohemian revolutionary cohorts. The group is in the middle of creating a musical production to be performed at the notorious Moulin Rouge. While visiting this den of iniquity Christian falls in love with the singer and courtesan Satine (Kidman). She is promised to another and tragedy lurks in the background. Oh yes, there's also a lot of singing and dancing while all of this is going on.
There's nothing particularly big or clever about Moulin Rouge, Baz Luhrmann's reinvention of the Hollywood musical. The melding of popular modern day tunes into a period musical has been done many times before and the plot is little more than a brisk trot through the familiar used to string a collection of music performances together. Equally, Luhrmann's direction occasionally goes into visual overdrive which alienates viewers from on-screen events and characters. But at the same time, the film is a hell of a lot of fun. The featured songs (not to mention the singers) are great, the performances are captivating, the level of the humour is perfectly balanced against the pathos of the story, and most importantly of all, it will leave you with a bloody big smile on your face when it all ends.
This is truly entertainment and spectacle distilled into its purest form. You'd have to be completely lacking in joi de vivre not to be caught up in its spell.
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