[MOVIE REVIEW] At This Club, Anythng Goes"Moulin Rouge", to be released Friday in Korea, gives the audience a spectacular roller-coaster ride, based on the harmony between the fantastic sensualism of the underworld of the legendary Moulin Rouge in Paris, 1899, and modern pop music from the United States.
The two may not seem a natural match at first glance, but somehow the magical touch of the director Baz Luhrmann pulls it off. If Luhrmann's "Strictly Ballroom" (1992) was the appetizer and "Romeo + Juliet" (1996) the soup, "Moulin Rouge" is a sumptuous main course.
Satine (Nicole Kidman) is the most popular dancer at the Moulin Rouge club. Everything seems to be going fine until a poor and ambitious poet from London, Christian (Ewan McGregor), appears and falls for Satine. Although Satine says that she cannot love anyone, it is no surprise that Christian finally wins over Satine's heart. But there is one hurdle lurking in the background that nothing can overcome.
The story has many similarities to Puccini's opera "La Boheme." Indeed, Luhrmann once directed the opera for television in Australia.
But with the flashy pop culture elements sewn into this story, it becomes something more impressive. For exam ple, a fight between a duke, Satine and the club manager at one points somehow turns into a musical number of Madonna's "Like a Virgin." Or when Christian meets the famous Parisian artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, the two of them break into the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love."
But the most notable part of this film is the actors, who actually sing in their own voices in the movie. McGregor sounds powerful and emotional while Kidman displays her tantalizing voice to the full. In addition to her singing, Kidman once again displays the range of her acting ability, not to mention her bewitching beauty.
Christian is too obsessive about Satine, and is not able to understand many of Satine's actions. Because of this, he is sometimes annoying. In the end, the dynamic scenes are certainly infectious, and the audience is usually swept away by these over-the-top performances.
But spectacle seems to be the only thing that Luhrmann cares about, rather than the overall quality of the film. The film is certainly a feast, but it leaves you feeling overly full on treats and sweets instead of substance.
by Chun Su-jin