Moulin Rouge...$52 Million Down the Drain
Moulin Rouge is the worst high-budget blockbuster movie ever made. Before you get your panties all up in a wad, let me explain myself a little bit.
I'll start out with the only semi-positive thing I have to say about the film. It's visually groundbreaking. The colors, camera angles, use of time-lapse and slowing down the frames, as well as the many intricate cuts are almost enough to give this movie some credibility. Unfortunately, most of it seems to be trying to cover up ultimately how bad the movie is.
Why? Why them? Sure, they're recognizable names (Nicole Kidman much more so than Ewan McGregor, unless you count the shitty new Star Wars), but they lack a tiny thing that is semi-important in a musical: talent. They can't sing. Maybe better than I can, granted, but that's not saying much. The voices are so bland and flat and uninteresting. They don't even harmonize together. I'm sure they had to use more digital effects than Linkin Park to make those voices sound halfway decent. And McGregor only has one volume: LOUD. Someone should have told him that they've created this great new invention called microphones, and he doesn't have to make sure all of Paris can hear him yell "Come what may!"
A key part of a musical, I would say. Usually the score and lyrics are written into the story, blending dialog with music in this fantastic and beautiful way. Think of all the famous musicals and they all have that one classic song: Fiddler on the Roof, "If I Were a Rich Man" or "Matchmaker"; Phantom of the Opera, "Music of the Night" or "All I Ask of You"; Grease, "Summer Lovin'" or "Grease Lightning."
Moulin Rouge...uhhh....errr...that Elton John song?
Sure it's kind of cool when you take popular music and throw it into a musical setting. I get that. But when 90% of your music and almost half of your dialog is pop music, there's something wrong. They take all these classic songs by The Police, Elton John, Madonna, Whitney Houston and even Nirvana and bastardize them into this mockery of a musical. What has happened to musicals such that the writer can't even write his own music to it? People love these songs for a reason, and to hear two no-talent hacks butcher them on the big screen is almost sacreligous. I'm fairly sure that Kurt Cobain nearly came out of his casket.
Or lack thereof by the main characters. Musicals always have those big dance sequences, or at least a little jig here and there. It's part of the deal. Too bad Moulin Rouge casted four left feet for the two main characters. All that fancy camera work is partly used to distract the audience from the fact that Nicole Kidman is barely moving. When they're dancing together, the only camera angles are either right up in her face so you can't see her body, or far away from her and moving around her so it looks like she's actually doing something. The extras are the ones that can dance, and a lot of times they're used to cover up the main stars. Isn't that kind of backward?
That same tired love story you've always heard and that you can predict after five minutes of the movie. Poor man meets prostitute, falls in love with prostitute (Dave Chappelle's version of Pretty Woman, anyone?), big rich man also falls in love with prostitute and wants to take her away and kill poor man, prostitute falls for poor man, but before they can be free and crash back into reality where they will be ridiculously poor and eventually very unhappy, one of them dies...thank god.
I know there are people that love this movie and would think some of my favorite movies are terrible. I understand that movies are subjective. But please, for my sake, really look at this film and tell me what's good about it, or even what good comes out of it. Don't say it's because it's a sweet love story, but give me real reasons. Make me believe. Because right now I think director Baz Luhrmann should be thrown down a deep pit to hell.