Moulin Rouge

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Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge presents a dilemma for viewers as this movie displays the consequences of mixing obligations with personal interests and values. We see this with Satine as she is caught between two worlds in her role as a courtesan of the Moulin Rouge and also as Christian’s lover. She is obliged by her duty as a courtesan to protect Zidler’s interests, yet she also wishes to embrace the Bohemian values of Christian, those values being beauty, freedom, truth and most importantly to Christian, love. Luhrmann effectively portrays the Duke as the realistic aspect of the two worlds Satine is caught between, as he is the chief investor of ‘Spectacular Spectacular’ and owner of the deeds of the Moulin Rouge. In order for Satine to realistically fulfill her dreams as an actress, she must first escape her fantasy of love with Christian. Luhrmann, through the use of textual, audio and visual film techniques, has effectively depicted Satine’s role as head courtesan of the Moulin Rouge and her duty to uphold Zidler’s interests. We are firstly introduced into Satine’s world in the ‘Diamond Dogs’ scene, where Bourgeoisie gentlemen are seen to be carousing with the dancers and courtesans of the infamous Moulin Rouge. The scene sets a mis-en-scene with the polyglot of diverse and somewhat grotesque looking performers, combined with seductive costumes and vibrant colors which effectively create a fantasy world for the upper class men. Luhrmann’s use of close-ups of the dancers naked limbs, combined with the Bourgeoise men singing “Here we are now, entertain us. We feel stupid and contagious” meritoriously illustrates the exploitative nature of Harold Zidler and his performers to have successfully gotten the “upper class gentlemen” to sing these words that lower their reputation as the elite. The repetitious shots of Christian’s face showing shock also reflects the breathtaking nature of the salubrious Moulin Rouge. Satine is introduced in the ‘Sparkling Diamond’...
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