How the Tango got me
Many of my female friends used to gasp with absolute horror when I told them that I had never seen Moulin Rouge and, what's more, I had no intention of doing so.
"You've never seen it?! Oh my GOD I love that movie. I cried so much."
But there's the point, you see! Crying. I do enough of that for myself, cheers, without bawling at other people's (usually made up) misfortunes and/or happy endings. The one film that has brought me even close to tears is The Green Mile, and I managed to restrain myself on that one. I don't do crying at films – instead, I tend to just get incredibly depressed, which believe me is far worse, so I try to avoid really sad films, unless they get good reviews.
While I was in Barcelona, it became clear that the Italians do not have the same problem. The score from Moulin Rouge appeared in so many of my favourite dances from the competition. A particular favourite seemed to be Le Tango de Roxanne, a track which sends shivers down my spine but was unbelievably overused, and hideously inappropriate for the 5-year old in the red tutu dancing by herself. The fact that the song is about a prostitute selling herself in the red light district was clearly lost in Italian translation.
Anyway, I wanted to put the music to the film, and having lived my own bonkers lovelife too much recently I needed a good love story, so I borrowed it. It is, without a doubt, completely and utterly mad. Having studied film all this year I have at least come to appreciate some of the finer points of film-making, so I can say with a teeny bit of authority that Baz Luhrmann is a visual genius, but clearly has ADHD. The cuts are so rapid and so frequent that I needed a Panadol after 20 minutes.
But…as I had hoped, Luhrmann's pièce de résistance was the Tango. This single scene conjures up the power of sex, the power of love and the irresistable agony of jealousy through an unbelievably sexy rendition of the Tango, the cuts between Christian, Satine and the Argentinian narcoleptic (don't ask, just watch) having dance-sex with "Roxanne".
When love comes at the highest price, there can be no trust. Without trust, there is no love.
And no, I didn't cry. Ha.