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The Plot Thickens

Photo: Taelar Pollmann ⋅ The Sentry

Red Windmill

Yes, Noelle, I’m finally doing it: writing about the only movie that would appear on both our top ten favorite films list: Moulin Rouge!. 

While I was 100% alive in 2001, I was only two years old, so I didn’t see the film in theaters. I did apparently see it on home video though. According to my mother’s account, my sister and I loved to reenact various musical numbers from the movie—and I mean, who wouldn’t? Moulin Rouge! is so full of life, colors, and yes, love, that I have decided it’s my number one feel good movie. The problem, it seems, with my sister and I’s re-enactment of the dramatic tale of a writer falling in love with a Parisian prostitute/can-can dancer was that we both wanted to be the prostitute.  

Let’s break it down here: Satine, played by Nicole Kidman, is gorgeous, has the most elaborate costumes, the best musical numbers, the coolest choreography, and the most dramatic and juicy role in the film. She’s almost a prostitute with tuberculosis, so…it’s a bit of an issue. As the tale goes, I wanted to be Satine because even at my age I knew that to be anyone else was wrong. This bothered my father (maybe cause he was afraid I would turn out…you know…), so he stopped us from watching the movie for a while. Like, years. 

However many years passed after my father hid that movie were enough to make me forget I had ever seen it. Then in high school, my mother bought the film on DVD and showed it to my sister and I. If love at first sight does exist, that was what I experienced. She showed us the abbreviated version of the film—skipping from number to number and giving us the short-hand version of the ending. 

This wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more of the intoxicating world of Baz Luhrmann’s film and not long after I feigned sickness, was allowed to stay home, and thereby spent part of the day watching the movie on the projector in the living room. 

I know you’re probably thinking: there is no way you love any movie that much. Well, you’re not only wrong but I can almost guarantee that if you watch the film after having known me for a while, everything that once didn’t make sense about my personality now will. It’s part of the reason why I’ve made each of my boyfriends (Isaiah pending) watch Moulin Rouge!…and why I’m almost always singing its soundtrack in my head.

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