Jacob Martin (formally known as The Movie King)’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film 19/30 of Scavenger Hunt 17
Task #6: An actor or actress (someone who is primarily known for their acting) is singing in this film
Um............ that was totally bonkers!
I was honestly expecting to hate this movie, actually. The flashy style of this movie is so obnoxious that it's almost unwatchable in the first 15-20 minutes or so, with obnoxious editing so quick-cut and jarring that it's difficult to take everything in that should look stunning and delicate to the eyes. It's like Baz Luhrmann wanted to turn people off, especially those who adore these musicals and want to have a great time.
But thankfully, once Ewan McGregor sung that beautiful, stirring rendition of Elton John's "Your Song" that can honestly compete with the original classic song, I was drawn into the charm of Moulin Rouge. I can see why some are turned off by this movie; the style is still off-the-wall and bonkers even after the Elton John song and some will undoubtedly be annoyed by the typical musical movie clichés and the obsession with the word "love" in this movie, but to me, that's what made this movie stand out. Even with the flashy style, some of the editing that bothered me in the opening was actually used to great advantage the more the film progressed. Especially in that "Roxanne Tango" number. The choreography, the fast-adrenaline intensity of jealousy, passion, and lust, and the consequences that follow. My gosh, it's amazing, that number.
On top of that, I bought into Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman's chemistry. Did the storyline need to go into that "I'm gonna lie to save my reputation when I could have revealed everything to make it less complicated" act near the end? No, and that was pretty annoying, but at the same time, despite knowing about where this story ends, I got into these character's struggles and was rooting for them to embrace each other until the end. To quote the Queen song the cast sings at one point, "The Show Must Go On."
So in the end, I was pleasantly surprised by Moulin Rouge. It won't please everyone, and I understand if you despise or loathe this movie, as I know there's haters of this (looking at you Nostalgia Critic!!!), but to be fair, there's far worse. Kidman and McGregor are amazing leads with spectacular singing and chemistry, I enjoyed the set and costume designs even with the flashy directing and editing, and for the most part, the song selections are spectacular, considering they use modern pop/rock songs for its 1900 Paris setting. I'd like to say that Moulin Rouge is a misunderstood musical that was ahead of its time, but then again, I dig weird bonkers stuff like this that's kooky and filled with slapstick comedy one minute, then they break out in song combined with the slapstick, then go all over-the-top in Old Hollywood-style dramatic fashion.
To me, that's a must-see musical!
"My gift is my song. And this one's for you. And you can tell everybody that this is your song. It may be quite simple but now that it's done. I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind that I put down in words... how wonderful life is now you're in the world."
I'll never think of that song "Like a Virgin" ever again thanks to Jim Broadbent's kooky version.