One of the most tender classic musical love stories ever told. Showing Christian (Ewan McGregor) as a penniless writer who has come to Paris to seek his fortune. To write about love and the bohemian lifestyle. Which would be great, if he had ever been in love.
We actually start with Christian, long-bearded and looking like hell starting to finally tell the story of what had happened to him just one year ago. When he fell in love with a perfect woman. As he writes his story, we move into a flashback of how he has come to where he is now. As he tries to put his life back together.
Dragged into a troop of performers, when one of them crashes through his ceiling as he writes. Christian ends up helping out in a run through of 'Spectacular Spectacular' before being invited to assist in writing it. Several glasses of absinthe later, they take him to the Moulin Rouge to try and convince Satine (Nicole Kidman: the star courtesan) to be a part of the production. A little mix up between a penniless writer and the Duke who wants to invest in the Moulin Rouge. Ends up with Christian in the courtesan's chambers, as she tries to seduce him for money. As he sings to her, trying to explain how he feels. Something she has never experienced before. Someone who really cares.
When the Duke turns up, Christian is discovered leading them into pitching the show as a way to escape the awkward situation. The Duke agrees, however, he wants Satine to be his as the price for his money. He holds the papers for the Moulin Rouge and will take it if she doesn't do exactly as he wants. Small problem in that, Christian has showered Satine with ideas of real love. Regardless of her ideas that 'she can't fall in love with anyone' and that 'love makes us act like we are fools, throw our lives away for one happy day'. He has convinced her to build a relationship with him, he has fallen in love with her and she is falling for him as well.
During rehearsals, they keep falling deeper in love. Finding ways to have excuses to spend time together. Right under the Duke's nose, while Satine grows steadily sicker. Finding it hard to breathe. Christian even writes them in a special song to the script, their lover's song. Another little screw you to the Duke at every rehearsal. Of course, the Duke eventually finds out about their love, and then things take a darker turn. Will Christian and Satine find a way to be together? Or will the Duke take what he wants?
When I first saw this movie, I hated it. The music is amazing, reworked classics such as Elton John's Your Song, Queen's The Show Must Go On and The Police's Roxanne. Done in ways that are fresh and interesting. Nicole and Ewan have amazing voices, showcased well here. Yet, I find the storyline very depressing as well as its dark ending. Yes, spoiler alert there! This is not a love story with a completely happy ending. If you are likely to cry, please be prepared with tissues, candy and someone to hug you.
Years after, I started dating a man who loves the film and of course, that meant re-watching it countless times. To the point now I can sing practically every song from the show from memory, and he often tempts me into doing so. I think I only hated it the first time around because I was in a very dark place of romance at the time. Now, in a way it brings me hope, that love so deep can be real. This is going to be either a love it or hate it ending type of movie. Just, give it a chance and try to let the deep love story into your heart.