YMMV: Moulin Rouge!

The 2001 film contains examples of:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Though he is a thoroughly unpleasant man- and an attempted rapist to boot- it can be quite hard not to feel sorry for the Duke. Satine did, indeed, make him think that she loved him, and she treated him spectacularly badly thanks to her infatuation with Christian. Doesn't excuse the rape and threatened murder, but the Duke could be considered more sympathetic if you see things from his side. Helps that he isn't very bright, either.
    • Essentially, Satine is a prostitute who manipulates her client into spending a ton of money on her and on a musical that covertly mocks him. She sleeps with his employee instead of him, and everyone covers up for them and mocks him behind his back.
    • Was Nini Legs-in-the-air a complete Jerkass for giving away Christian and Satine, or was she entirely justified? Considering everyone was relying on Satine becoming the Duke's consort so he would fund the Moulin Rouge, and the couple just seemed to rely on everyone to keep the secret for them without being exactly discreet about it themselves, it's amazing the Duke didn't find them out in the first place.
    • It's heavily implied she's motivated by jealousy, as everyone covets the "Sparkling Diamond" Satine, whereas Nini is just another Diamond Dog.
    • Is Christian finally experiencing One True Love and his heartbroken behavior at the end expected, or is just Puppy Love and he loves the romantic idea of the them, and thus his humiliation and degradation of Satine when his idealistic worldview of a prostitute is shattered unforgivable, and proof that it was?
  • Awesome Music: "El Tango De Roxanne", "Elephant Love Medley", and "Come What May".
  • Cliché Storm: A positive example, for some.
  • Covered Up: Many don't know that "Lady Marmalade" was originally done by Labelle in The Seventies. Also, in spite of its popularity and the fact that it was used in a good deal of the film's marketing, that was not the version actually used in the film. The song itself, blended with Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and original verse spoken by Jim Broadbent, is the first really big number in the film.
  • Designated Hero: If you removed the motivation of love and happiness from the picture, and presented the events as a police report, it would describe a group of vagrants and prostitutes conning a rich buffoon into financing their production while one of their number seduces him for even more wealth and fortune. Of course, the movie makes it clear that Satine is essentially an indentured servant who cannot say no to the Duke if she wants to, but from a lawful standpoint, really what they did was swindle him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The songs "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and "Diamond Dogs" are both featured in the film's soundtrack. Fast-forward to the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Dog and Pony Show" in which both songs are referenced in close proximity to each other.
  • Ho Yay: Defied or lampshaded, when the Narcoleptic Argentinian admires Christian's attitude. "I like this boy..." ( Beat, the Bohemians give a weird look) "Nothing funny. I just like talent."
    • He also accidentally (?) touched Christian's crotch as he said it.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Duke is a bit of a simpleton Manchild and Satine (in conspiracy with the entire circus) is trying to seduce him for his money and connections; he is too besotted and na´ve to realize this. While his later behavior is outright villainous, it's probably a case of him Jumping Off the Slippery Slope after he starts to see how cruelly he has been used and humiliated. He is the bad guy, but that doesn't make the other characters the "good" guys.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Zidler makes whoremongering seem utterly glamorous. And his lies!
  • Moral Event Horizon: The audience knows from the start that the Duke isn't a nice person; it's when he tries to rape Satine after she refuses him that he loses any sympathetic edge he might have had.
  • Love It or Hate It: There really seems to be no middle ground with audiences. Either it's a festive, magical experience with beautiful set pieces or it's schmaltzy dreck that does a complete disservice to modern music.
  • Narm: Some people might find Christian's hysterical sobbing/laughing when Satine dies a bit...misplaced.
  • One-Scene Wonder: One iconic element of this film was Kylie Minogue as the Green Fairy. Her scene lasted less than a minute.
    • El Tango De Roxanne is performed by 2, until then, background characters.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Nini might have squealed on Satine and Christian primarily out of jealousy, but she has a valid reason to be worried about their love affair causing disaster. The Duke is, after all, holding the deed to the Moulin Rouge hostage, and everyone's livelihood is at stake if things go wrong. Can you blame Nini for getting sick of hiding a relationship that might wreck everything the troupe's worked so hard for?
    • ...so, because she was concerned that Satine and Christian's relationship might ruin everything if things went wrong, she told The Duke, thus ensuring that things would go wrong, and a lot sooner than they might have otherwise? What??
  • Tear Jerker: Now has its own page.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Some audience members felt this way about the choppy nature of the music. Typically, this reaction comes during the first music number when they hear Nirvana alongside Madonna.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: At first played straight, then inverted. By Word of God, the reason the Bohemians couldn't get their version of "The Sound of Music" right and resorted to Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, and why Christian could get it right and wow them, was because Christian had an understanding of True Art that they did not—it was a stylistic choice. This is then continually inverted throughout the whole movie, where modern songs are used in place of the sort of music there would actually have been in 1899 Montmartre in order to help the viewer understand what it would have been like then and how those going to the Moulin Rouge would have felt (their idea of decadence and ours would not mix, but that is what it was to them), as well as to express feelings the characters otherwise could not. It's an interesting conceit, but whether it actually works or is appropriate is up to the viewer.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: If you're reading the descriptions, you know this is the biggest abysnthe trip ever filmed.

The 1952 film contains examples of:

  • Once Acceptable Targets: The dance scene at the very beginning opens with a tiff between La Goulue and Aicha, an African woman whom the former refers to as "that dirty-necked Algerian"; Henri seems to take it as a joke, and somewhat defends Aicha.
  • Tear Jerker: Oh, dear, sweet God, yes.