The title of the play in Moulin Rouge
(2001). It is like the play in Hamlet
in that its plot is a detailed mirror of the story it's inside. The cast and crew explain the plot to Duke
, a potential investor, in a song called "The Pitch." (Unfortunately it's not on the soundtrack
, so I can't transcribe the words to it until the movie is available on VHS
. Maybe someone with DVD
can do it.)
It's about a courtesan in India who is supposed to marry an evil Maharaja, but on her way to meet him, she meets a sitar player dressed as a Maharaja, mistakes him for her intended, and falls in love with him. They must of course keep their love a secret. But the Maharaja finds out after all because the sitar is enchanted and can speak, but only the truth. He forces the courtesan to choose between them. At first she chooses the Maharaja because he can offer her a life of wealth and security, but just before they are to marry, the sitar player barges in and tries to pay her for making him believe she loved him (which is a courtesan's job). She tries to refuse, but he throws the money at her feet and says, "Thank you for curing me of my ridiculous obsession with love."
He turns to leave, but his sitar says, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." The courtesan takes these words to heart and begins to sing a special song the sitar player had written for them, so they would always remember their love despite adversity. And the Bohemian ideals of truth, beauty, freedom, and love win out over all.