Sunday, January 6, 2013

Moulin Rouge (2001).

I used to be OBSESSED with this movie. It came out the year I graduated (I think in June, so RIGHT after) high school. I saw it in the theatre almost as many times as I saw "The Matrix". I don't have a head for statistics, so I can't recall how many times, but I'd say at least 5 and that's a BIG deal for me to pay for a freakin' movie 5 times! I have avoided it for years, thinking that maybe this is one of those movies that should be left in the past. Today, I break the silence and we shall see if I am still in love with this movie. I did listen to "Bolero", the song played during the ending credits in the car on the way to Springfield the other night and it still transports me back to the second or third time I saw this movie in the theatre wherein my brother Sagan and I danced up by the screen theatrically. It was one of the most gleefully-free moments of my life (I have had a lot of wonderful moments like this--I can't understate the value of a friend who can abandon social mores long enough to prance off to have a moment with me, dancing, skipping, laughing. If you have been one of those friends to me, I will never forget you.).

Anyway, at the start of this movie I have no idea if what whisked me away to a happy place in this movie was merely the visuals (elephant houses, red hair, and corsets, oh my!), the music, or maybe just the overall Bohemian spirit of the thing. My aunt Diana says the plot of this movie directly mirrors the plot of the opera "La Traviata" and she was the star of this opera when I was in 1st grade, so she should know. I also had an immediate obsession with that opera when I first saw it in 1988. I even had an "opera" party and invited my entire 1st grade class after a very unskilled show-and-tell performance from "La Traviata": as you can imagine, no one got me then and only two people showed up to the party (friends for life, Sarah Rosenberg and Nicole Anderson!). This movie usually gets me all emotional...I'll stop stalling and start the damn thing...

Ok, within the first five minutes I know I will still fall in love with this movie. If only Nicole Kidman were a drag queen. Whew! I still get chills and tears in my eyes when Ewan first opens his mouth to sing "The hills are alive with the sound of music." Why don't they let him sing more in movies? Yum. So perfect that Kylie Minogue is the green faery. Welled up again at the presentation of Satine. I don't even normally care for Nicole Kidman, but I find her divine in this movie (except for all the squealing and flittering about...oh god, I forgot about all that weirdness).

I still want that elephant. Nicole's wig is so good. Jim Broadbent is just spectacular in this. I love how creepy he is doing "Like a Virgin".

Wow, ok, so I've written two measly paragraphs since I started watching the movie. I must be really sucked in...I'm at the "Roxanne" part. The music is so well-placed in this movie: in fact, all the editing, the timing of this film is just stupendous. It yanks at every emotional string within me exactly when it's supposed to. Baz is playing me like an instrument, making me cry every time he says, "Cry, bitch!" Using Queen and Nirvana against me in a cruel emotional game!

"Play the game, play the game, play the game....!!"

"Hindi Sad Diamonds" is, as far as I can remember, my first exposure to Indian-inspired music and it was my favorite in the movie. I used to play it over and over, along with "Bolero" (a song I've made up my own ballets to, dozens of times). The movie is nearing the end and I need room to sob, so I shall total and end this blog...

ambience: 8
characters: 7.6
music: 8
dialogue: 6
replayability: 6

TOTAL: 35.6

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