Moulin Rouge exhibits the visual flair, cultural admixture, and depth of character normally found in a four minute R&B video. But a video remains satisfied with the cool pop surface of things and knows not to drag itself over an hour or two. Moulin Rouge, a wildly fanciful burst of action from the director of William Shakespeare's Rome and Juliet, heeds no such restraints. The film sacrifices all in a rush to entertain.
Nicole Kidman stars as a tubercular dancer and prostitute at the famed Moulin Rouge cabaret in artsy 19th-century Paris. A young poet (Ewan McGregor) stumbles across infamous painter Toulouse-Lautrec (an underused John Leguizamo) and his band of merry misfits. Satine (Kidman) and Christian (McGregor) meet and fall in love. Social standing, poverty, health, and fate are a few of the difficulties they encounter in making the relationship work. Also, there is a lot of dancing … to Madonna, Elton John, The Sound of Music showtunes, etc. The anachronisms are far less considered that those of, say, A Knight's Tale. Director Baz Luhrmann is careful to include everything big, including the kitchen sink, but the ingredients that would make a film rise out of this sugar-rush extravaganza are missing.
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