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Moulin Rouge: Here's What Makes the Musical a Cinematic Masterpiece



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Under the masterful artistic direction of Baz Luhrmann, Moulin Rouge hit theaters in 2001. The romantic drama film is a jukebox musical, integrating popular songs from Nirvana, Beck, Madonna, Elton John, and many more. Whereas other jukebox musicals often fail to impress critics, Moulin Rouge won two Academy Awards and was nominated for six others, including Best Picture.

Moulin Rouge is the third and final installment of Luhrmann’s Red Curtain Trilogy, an artistic collection that includes his first two films, Strictly Ballroom (1992) and Romeo + Juliet (1996), starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. The first two films also feature flashy props and costumes, elaborate sets, and, of course, romance. Moulin Rouge, however, is the masterful culmination of Luhrmann’s previous work.

The film takes place in late 1890s Paris in the town of Montmartre, the epicenter of Bohemian life (along with heavy absinthe consumption and, well, consumption). The Bohemians, including artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (a great John Leguizamo performance), stress the importance of four core values: beauty, freedom, truth, and, above all things, love. The penniless writer, a romantic poet named Christian (Ewan MacGregor), comes to Montmartre to seek the inspiration he lacks: love.

Toulouse sneaks Christian, who is disguised as a wealthy potential investor called The Duke (Richard Roxburgh), into the Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge, French for “Red Windmill,” is a nightclub based on the famous cabaret theater of the same name founded by Charles Zidler (Jim Broadbent). Here, Christian discovers his true love in Zidler’s star dancer: a courtesan named Satine (Nicole Kidman). They must keep their affair secret from the formidable Duke and plan Satine’s escape to freedom before it is too late.

Beyond the vibrant colors, striking costumes, and entertaining musical numbers, Moulin Rouge serves as an allegorical update of the famous Greek mythological tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice. The Roman poet Virgil’s version of the myth is among the more popular, and concerns the legendary poet and musician Orpheus, a son of Apollo and the Greek Muse Calliope. He falls in love with a beautiful woman, Eurydice, who is enchanted by the melodies he sings and the tunes he plays on his lyre.

Related: Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Trailer Introduces Austin Butler as the Iconic Singer

One day, Eurydice is bitten by a poisonous snake and dies. Orpheus laments his grief with his lyre. Hades is so moved by his emotional performance that he grants Orpheus access to the underworld to retrieve his lost love, but on one condition: as Eurydice follows him out, he must not look back at her. As predicted by cruel fate, Orpheus is so scared she isn’t really there that he glances behind him, catching a glimpse of Eurydice one last time, and loses his love to the realm of Hades forever.

In Moulin Rouge, Christian is Orpheus; Toulouse often refers (in innuendo) to his “huge talent,” and Christian breaks Satine’s hardened exterior with his poetry and beautiful song. Christian, an Englishman, is an outsider from the Bohemian world. Satine, however, is a resident of the Moulin Rouge, which Zidler often calls “The Underworld” as an allusion to the realm ruled by Hades. He tells Satine that she is a creature of the underworld, that she belongs among prostitutes, scantily clad dancers, and greedy men, whether she likes it or not. The equivalent to the snake’s slow-acting poison is the consumption, or tuberculosis, which is slowly killing Satine, unbeknownst to Christian.

Satine desperately wants to leave the Moulin Rouge to become “a real actress” and live a happy life with Christian, but Zidler, The Duke, and her worsening illness tie her down. From the very beginning, the audience learns that something is wrong with Satine. The film uses this dramatic irony as a haunting reminder that the carefree happiness will eventually come to an end. The bright Bohemian themes that are reflected in the film’s artistry (beauty, freedom, and love) are juxtaposed with the value of truth: the inevitability of loss and sorrow.

Christian and Satine are determined to “overcome all obstacles” in order to be happy and in love. Against all odds, they finally prevail over the evil Duke, who is blinded by a murderous, jealous rage. In the final scenes, MacGregor and Kidman perform the film’s only original song, “Come What May.” The beautiful duet was snubbed for an Oscar on a technicality, as Luhrmann had originally written it for Romeo + Juliet. This romantic, tragic tale is comparabale to that of what is arguably the most famous love story in the history of Western literature.

Related: These Are Nicole Kidman’s Best Performances, Ranked

The story of Moulin Rouge itself conforms to Toulouse’s strict Bohemian standards. Kidman and MacGregor are beautiful in this film, as is the love they portray. Freedom, entrapment, and thus the illusion of freedom are prevalent themes in the movie; Satine resides in a massive elephant, high above the Moulin Rouge, physically isolated from those below her. She feels stuck at the Moulin Rouge and yearns for something beyond her role as a prostitute in the realm of the underworld. To her, Christian’s naivety, pureness of heart, and detachment from the underworld represent freedom.

The musical also embodies truth in its depictions of lies and subsequent revelations. Satine hides her sickness, and Zidler puts her in a position in which she feels she must lie to Christian that she no longer loves him in order to protect him from the fury of the Duke. When Christian eventually uncovers the truth, he and Satine experience love in its purest, happiest form. Of course, most of all, Moulin Rouge is a film about love conquering all. Even upon the death of a loved one, love continues to live on.

Moulin Rouge is a visually stunning and musically satisfying masterpiece, illustrating thoughtful care of cinematography and musical composition and helping make 2001 a great year for movies in the process. Kidman delivers an incredible, heartbreaking performance, and Ewan MacGregor has won the audience over with his charming smile and beautiful voice. Luhrmann pays proper homage to the rouge half of the film’s title, putting on display brilliant shades of red, a color often associated with anger, passion, and love. Moulin Rouge is what every jukebox musical should aspire to be and is the perfect curtain call to Luhrmann’s romantic trilogy.



Movie Reviews

Young Sheldon Season 6: Renewed or Cancelled?



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A spin-off prequel to the famous ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Young Sheldon‘ is a coming-of-age sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro. Set in the 1980s and 1990s, the narrative showcases the journey of the younger version of Sheldon Cooper. With his surreal intelligence and maturity, he manages to skip four grades and finds it difficult to fit in at school as well as at home. The period sitcom first released on September 25, 2017, on CBS.

The show resonates with younger as well as older viewers since it tackles a number of relatable issues, including struggles of fitting in with peers and the complexities of parenthood. This is one of the main reasons it has garnered appreciation and love from a large number of fans and critics. As the fifth installment comes to a close, fans are already clamoring for more. So, if you have been wondering whether there will be a round 6, here is everything we can tell you!

Young Sheldon Season 6 Release Date

‘Young Sheldon’ season 5 premiered on October 7, 2021, on CBS, with the season ending on May 19, 2022. The fifth edition of the sitcom consists of 22 episodes with a runtime of 18-21 minutes each.

As far as the show’s sixth iteration is concerned, we have some good news to share! On March 30, 2021, CBS officially picked up the show for seasons 5, 6, and 7. That means the ‘The Big Bang Theory’ prequel had been renewed all the way through the 2023-2024 season. This is hardly surprising since the show became the most-watched comedy series on television in 2021.

Following the announcement, CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl stated, “Young Sheldon dominates the broadcast comedy landscape by over +2.5 million viewers and is the lynchpin of CBS’ top-rated Thursday comedy lineup. The humor, warmth and heart exuded by the Cooper family is an undeniable hook for the millions of fans who tune in each week. We’re excited to see what the next three seasons have in store for a slightly older Sheldon and all the Coopers.”

Having received an early renewal, the production team must already have a solid plan in place to deliver new seasons on time. Before COVID-19 hit, the show rolled out a new edition in September every year. But season 4 was evidently affected by the pandemic. However, networks and streaming platforms have been trying to adjust back into their regular routines. With that being said, we can expect ‘Young Sheldon’ season 6 to release in September 2022.

Young Sheldon Season 6 Cast: Who can be in it?

It is almost certain that all the main cast members will reprise their roles in the show’s sixth round. This includes Iain Armitage (Sheldon Cooper), Zoe Perry (Mary Tucker Cooper), Lance Barber (George Cooper Sr.), Montana Jordan (George “Georgie” Cooper Jr.), Raegan Revord (Melissa “Missy” Cooper), Annie Potts (Connie “Meemaw” Tucker), Matt Hobby (Pastor Jeff Difford), and Wyatt McClure (Billy Sparks). In addition, according to sources, Emily Osment (Mandy) has been promoted to the main cast billing for the upcoming installment. 

Other cast members who play pivotal roles in the series are Wallace Shawn (John Sturgis), Ryan Phuong (Tam Nguyen), Melissa Peterman (Brenda Sparks), Doc Farrow (Assistant Coach Wayne Wilkins), Rex Linn (Tom Petersen), Mckenna Grace (Paige Swanson), and Craig T. Nelson (Dale Ballard). Therefore, they might be seen again in the sixth iteration. We may even get to see some fresh faces in case new characters are introduced.

Young Sheldon Season 6 Plot: What can it be About?

In the fifth season, Sheldon continues to question the rationality behind religion and settles into his new dorm room. Georgie makes some life-changing decisions and lies about his age to get close to Mandy. Meemaw and Dale break up after dating for a while. Later, Georgie comes clean to Mandy but gets her pregnant, which stirs up gossip in the church. Amidst the drama, Mary feels alienated from her church and wants Georgie to marry Mandy. Furthermore, George Sr.’s job is in jeopardy.

In the season 5 finale, Mary and George Sr. look for new jobs, while Sheldon is hit with the initial signs of puberty. Elsewhere, Meemaw and Georgie travel across the border on a business trip. The sixth round is expected to unpack a lot of drama, especially the one surrounding Georgie and Mandy. We are likely to find out if Mary can convince the pair to get married or not. As for Sheldon, he is likely to go through some drastic changes due to puberty. In addition, we may get to see how the relationship between Mary and the church changes with time.

Read More: Where is Young Sheldon Filmed?



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Romantic Comedies That Were Too Corny To Finish



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Gifted with a superb cast that features Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, and a cameo by Nicole Kidman, “Just Go With It” isn’t necessarily one of Adam Sandler’s best (nor worst) films. This romantic comedy follows plastic surgeon Danny (Sandler), who pretends to be married to get with women. Whether he’s giving off the impression of a bad marriage or some other aspect, he gains sympathy points from these suitors, which leads to a string of one-night stands. It’s the perfect scheme until — of course — he meets the girl of his dreams, Palmer (Brooklyn Decker). She finds his wedding ring, and is appalled to discover he’s married. At this point, the real fun and games begin, as Danny must pretend he’s going through a divorce, so he can be with Palmer. He enlists the help of his assistant Devlin (Aniston), who pretends to be his soon-to-be-ex wife Katherine … and who happens to also be a single mom to two kids, so Danny ropes them into his web of lies as well.

Though a box office success, the movie was not a critical one, as evidenced by its low rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critic Roe McDermott writes for Hot Press, “The film is indeed predictable and juvenile, and doesn’t so much lapse into clichés as unabashedly dive in.” As Danny digs himself deeper into a hole of lies, events become more unbelievable and over-the-top, to the point that it’s hard to just go with it and stick with this movie. Since this is a rom-com, love conquers all in one form or another, however ridiculous the story may be. Nevertheless, an all-star cast makes this movie intriguing, regardless if you make it all the way through or not. 



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