Directed by Baz Luhrmann, starring Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo and Jim Broadbent.
Even though publicity for Tim Burton's ape caper 'Planet of the Apes' hackneys the idea of a 'reimagining', the concept actually existed four years ago, thanks to Baz Luhrmann. While Burton's simian blockbuster is a glorified remake, Luhrmann's 1997 take on Shakespeare in 'Romeo + Juliet' was a whole new approach to film-making. He draws on themes from past productions for 'Moulin Rouge', combining a tragic love story of Shakespearian proportions with far superior choreography to his 'Strictly Ballroom' debut. The result is a colourful amphetamine ride through the heyday of the Moulin Rouge in vice-ridden nineteenth century Paris.
Satine (Nicole Kidman) is the queen of the Moulin Rouge, a nymphette who beguiles potential patrons for the club's boss Zidler (Jim Broadbent). Kidman is both vampish and vulnerable, an indefatigable tease, until she encounters Christian (Ewan McGregor), the penniless writer of a potential smash-hit production. Lacking the production resources, the troupe turn to a wealthy Duke who agrees to fund the show – if Satine will be his wife.
The story is full of highs and lows as the lovers are thwarted at every turn, and it soon becomes clear that a dark secret is being kept from the cast and Christian himself. The dance scenes are a fantastically choreographed flurry of colour. No expense or imagination is spared on sets or costumes and the overall effect is visually dazzling. The soundtrack is standard musical kitsch, and largely disappointing but it doesn't detract from an entertaining glamour-fest of love, loss and OTT campness.