Mar 19

The Two Problems With Moulin Rouge

Let me say that before I begin, that I love the movie Moulin Rouge. It is my favorite movie, and I’ve seen it often enough so that I know it by heart. That said, there are two things about it which I have a serious problem, and am constantly reminded about at least once whenever I think about this movie in the abstract.

  1. The movie is based on the myth of Orpheus. This in itself is not a bad thing, but my problem is that I know the complete myth. See, what Moulin Rouge covers is where Orpheus falls in love with Eurydice and when she dies, he goes into the Underworld to get her back. However, just as he is about to leave with her, he loses her again, forever. Horribly romantic, no? That is where Moulin Rouge ends. However, after Orpheus loses Eurydice, he vows to never love another woman again, and only “loves” men, at least until he is beheaded by a mob of angry women. The idea that Christian, after leaving France dedicates himself to loving only men until he is beheaded really bothers me for some reason.
  2. Satine dies of Consumption. For those of you who didn’t know, “Consumption” is the old fashioned word for Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a highly contagious disease spread by coughing, contact, etc. Seriously, unless someone’s on the road to recovery, you don’t want to be in the same skyscraper with them. So everytime Satine kisses Christian or coughs on someone, I have to wince at the disease being spread everywhere. I’m surprised no one seemed to catch it, especially Christian, who was absorbing the virus until the very end. Yuck.

Anyway, these are just thoughts. In some perverse way, they make the story more interesting for me, but I hope they make you go “hmmm” too.

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