A fantastic movie about truth
, and above all things, love
Love is like oxygen. Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!
A Baz Luhrmann film.
Ewan McGregor as Christian
Nicole Kidman as Satine
Richard Roxburgh as The Duke
Jim Broadbent as Harold Zidler
John Leguizamo as Toulouse
Many others, literally hundreds of dancers and performers.
1. Nature Boy - David Bowie 3:25
2. Lady Marmalade - Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya And Pink 4:24
3. Because We Can - Fatboy Slim 3:27
4. Sparkling Diamonds - Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Caroline O'Connor, Natalie Mendoza And Lara Mulcahy 2:52
5. Rhythm Of The Night - Valeria 3:49
6. Your Song - Ewan McGregor And Alessandro Safina 3:38
7. Children Of The Revolution - Bono, Gavin Friday And Maurice Seezer 2:59
8. One Day I'll Fly Away - Nicole Kidman 3:18
9. Diamond Dogs - Beck 4:34
10. Elephant Love Medley - Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor And Jamie Allen 4:13
11. Come What May - Nicole Kidman And Ewan McGregor 4:48
12. El Tango De Roxanne - Ewan McGregor, Jose Feliciano And Jacek Koman 4:43
13. Complainte De La Butte - Rufus Wainwright 3:05
14. Hindi Sad Diamonds - Nicole Kidman, John Leguizamo And Alka Yagnik 3:28
15. Nature Boy - David Bowie And Massive Attack 4:08
Read no further, unless you want the plot spoiled. But even if the plot is spoiled, the movie is still rich enough that it deserves to be seen nonetheless.
According to Luhrmann, the plot is based on the myth of Orpheus. The story is about Christian, a penniless writer who travels to the Moulin Rouge to join in with the Bohemian revolution. There, he falls in with a group of actors who want him to write their play, "Spectacular Spectacular". But first, Christian must meet with Satine, a courtesan at the Moulin Rouge, to amaze her with his "talent" so that Christian will become the writer of the play.
The movie begins with Christian writing a story a year after the actual events of the movie, and in this opening scene, we find that Satine dies. It becomes clear in Christian and Satine's first meeting that Satine has tuberculosis (consumption), and that this will lead to her death. Christian, however, is totally unaware.
After a mix-up, Satine believes that Christian is actually The Duke, and she takes him back to her room (which is actually the head of an elephant). Here, she attempts to seduce him, because she needs The Duke's financial backing to help Zidler (who could be her father - that was unclear, and most likely he was just a father figure to Satine) transform the Moulin Rouge into the world's first true Bohemian theater, and also so that she might become a real actress as opposed to just a can-can dancer.
Once Satine realizes that Christian is not the Duke, she tells him to leave, but at that moment the Duke arrives at her room. Christian manages to hide, and with some creative gesturing and the use of the poetry that Christian sang to Satine, The Duke is pushed out of Satine's room.
Suddenly, Satine begins to cough, and she passes out. Christian catches her and throws her to the bed. The Duke returns and catches them, but with the help of the eavesdropping Zidler and the Bohemian actors, they convince The Duke that they were having an emergency rehearsal to incorporate the Duke's artistic ideas.
Here, Christian develops the plot for Spectacular Spectacular. It is about a courtesan (played by Satine) who must save her kingdom by seducing the evil Maharajah (played by Zidler, representing The Duke). However, she falls in love with a penniless sitar player (played by the narcoleptic Argentinian, representing Christian), and in the end, the sitar player's magic sitar (played by Toulouse), which can only speak the truth, lets the cat out of the bag, but then saves the courtesan and the sitar player by playing their love song, and saying "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return."
The Duke agrees to finance it. That night, Christian visits Satine again and they fall in love. The next morning, the Duke makes a contract with Zidler that gives him the deeds to the Moulin Rouge, and that binds Satine to him and him alone.
Satine and Christian continue their affair under the Duke's nose, and Zidler finds out. As time goes on, The Duke is the only one who does not know about the affair. In the mean time, Christian and Satine make many excuses, and Satine manages to fend off all of the Duke's attempts to sleep with her.
One night, Satine is unable to meet with Christian because of her sickness, and he gets jealous. Satine decides that they must end it, because she is a courtesan, and Christian will get jealous of the Duke eventually. This is when Christian makes a special song just for the two of them that will always let them know that they love each other.
The next day, in rehearsal, one of the Moulin Rouge prostitutes purposely slips and says "penniless writer" when she refers to the "penniless sitar player." The Duke's jealousy flares, and he insists that the ending be changed so that the courtesan marries the Maharajah.
Satine attempts to seduce the Duke while the narcoleptic Argentinian sings about the dangers of falling in love with a woman who sells herself. Christian goes for a walk, and Satine sees him singing as she is with the Duke, and suddenly she feels she can't pretend to love the Duke anymore. The Duke tries to rape her, but Chocolat (Satine's protector or something like that - he caught her when she fell from her perch in the first club scene) realizes that something is wrong, and he stops the Duke.
The Duke decides that if Satine tries to remain with Christian, he will have Christian killed. When Zidler tells Satine this, Satine wants to run away with Christian. So Zidler informs Satine that her sickness is fatal, and that she should hurt Christian, tell him that she doesn't love him, in order to push him away and save him.
Satine goes to Christian, and says that she loves the Duke. Christian is horribly broken by this. On opening night, he sneaks in and finds Satine in her dressing room, and he tries to pay her. He says that he should pay her like all the other men who she made to believe that she loved them. Satine tries to make Christian leave, and just as he's about to be shot by The Duke's goon, Satine and Christian appear on stage, Christian taking the place of the unconscious Argentinian as the sitar player.
In the meantime, Toulouse overhears that the Duke is trying to kill Christian, and he tries to find some way to warn him. Christian throws the money to the ground, and announces that he is finished with his whore, and that she means nothing to him anymore. He starts to leave the theater.
Finally Toulouse, the magical Sitar, screams his line, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return." Satine sings their secret song, and Christian runs back to her. The Duke's goon is about to shoot him, when Toulouse falls from the ceiling and kicks the gun from him. In the final majestic scene of Spectacular Spectacular, the many efforts of The Duke to kill Christian are thwarted by the actors, including Zidler.
The triumph is bittersweet, however, because as the curtains close and everyone is so happy, Satine begins her last coughing fit. She dies in Christian's arms, and tells him to live on, so that he might tell her story, and that he might always remember her.
It concludes with Christian still typing away one year in the future, explaining that famous line again, and then finally typing "The End."