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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge

DCDrama2
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#1
Posted: 12/1/19 at 7:22am

SPOILER WARNING: I will be comparing the endings of the movie and musical below. If you don’t want to know either of those, skip this thread.

The ending of Moulin Rouge the musical has been bothering me since I saw it in previews and I wanted to talk about it. In the movie version, Satine elects to be with the Duke due to an explicit threat of violence toward Christian. This is borne out when he enters the theater and is nearly killed. He then makes his speech to Satine and walks away. (This is important.) Satine then hears Toulouse call out “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” This stirs Satine and she starts to sing to Christian and goes to him before the tragic ending.

In the musical, Satine elects to be with the Duke to save the Moulin Rouge and her friends. There is an implication that the Duke has gotten violent in the past, but there is no direct threat made. Satine ultimately chooses a life of comfort over love; a pragmatic decision over an emotional one. Then Christian again makes his speech to her, but this time adds a threat of suicide if she does not go with him. This violent threat is what gets her to go to him this time before her death.

This change seems to undermine the theme of the movie and musical and rewards Christian’s violently manipulative behavior. Satine does not choose him of her own volition but under duress. I found this to be quite troubling and has soured the show for me.

I was wondering if anyone else felt the same or had other thoughts on this ending change.

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Wee Thomas2
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#2
Posted: 12/1/19 at 9:04am

Interesting analysis.

 

I was just happy it was over, that was my favorite part of the show!

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CapnHook
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#3
Posted: 12/1/19 at 9:07am
Your point would normally be valid, however, in the musical, Christian didn't love Satine. Satine did not love Christian. The Duke did not love Satine. No one loved anyone. At least that is the impression I got when I saw the show. It was all pretty to look at, though.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
BWAY Baby2
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#4
Posted: 12/1/19 at 9:17am

I think both endings work- and I loved the movie but loved the show even more. I found it thrilling. And the ending for both made sense - but I was more profoundly moved seeing the show.  And I disagree about the chemistry in the show- I was center row 2 of the orchestra- and could very clearly pick up on the chemistry between the stars. And count me in as in the minority, but I thought Tveit was very effective and persuasive in his role. 

hicaesar
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#5
Posted: 12/2/19 at 12:25pm

Wee Thomas2 said: "Interesting analysis.



I was just happy it was over, that was my favorite part of the show!
"

Me too. It felt like a theme park or cruise ship show.... with an amazing and talented cast. 

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Kitsune
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#6
Posted: 12/2/19 at 12:59pm

I wasn't a fan of the Broadway adaptation of Moulin Rouge in general. I loved the movie, and while obviously the translation to stage will be different, I felt like along the way Moulin Rouge lost too much of the style that made it unique.

I agree, Christian comes off as very emotionally manipulative in the ending. 

I appreciate that the book writers were trying to get away from rape tropes, but not everything worked for me. (In the same token, I appreciate in spirit that they sacked the "Christian invents Bollywood" storyline. Unfortunately, the replacement was boring IMO).

Roscoe
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#7
Posted: 12/2/19 at 1:33pm

Maybe a more competent actor in the role of Christian might have made his motivations clearer, and his actions a little more sympathetic.  Mr. Tveit's utter lack of response to the death of the woman he supposedly loves, as he holds her dead body in his arms, is one of the weirdest things I've ever seen onstage.  There's no comparison with that awful wail of anguish let loose by Mr. McGregor in the film.  But of course, Mr. McGregor is a fine actor.  Mr. Tveit sings really nicely. 

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#8
Posted: 12/5/19 at 12:57am

Wrongish thread for this, but just so people are aware that want to see Karen, she is no longer doing Tuesday evenings anymore. 

Why not cancel the revival of West Side Story and give The Music Man the beauty that is The Broadway. Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster are worth more than a sexual predator and a bullshit revival.
bear88
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#9
Posted: 12/5/19 at 4:56am

DCDrama2 said: "SPOILER WARNING: 

In the musical, Satine elects to be with the Duke to save the Moulin Rouge and her friends. There is an implication that the Duke has gotten violent in the past, but there is no direct threat made. Satine ultimately chooses a life of comfort over love; a pragmatic decision over an emotional one. Then Christian again makes his speech to her, but this time adds a threat of suicide if she does not go with him. This violent threat is what gets her to go to him this time before her death.


I haven't seen the musical, but is this a fair characterization of how it ends? I know many people have had issues with the conclusion but didn't realize Satine's decision now is motivated, at least in part, by a suicide threat. The film has issues of its own, but it had charms that overcame any problems. I'm not sure I would enjoy a Christian who is a manipulative jerk in the end.

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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#10
Posted: 12/5/19 at 5:40am

Christian was  not a manipulative jerk at the end- my opinion- and the ending worked perfectly. I loved the show- as many people did- and it is one of the most popular shows on BWAY for a reason. Obviously not everybody is a fan- but many people are. The ending made perfect sense and I left with a lump in my throat- don't want to give too much away because spoilers sometimes ruin it- but Tveit- while maybe not the most accomplished actor- is a very competent Christian and is believable throughout. He is quite good looking and it made sense to me that a good looking guy sometimes is not so emotional and sometimes does not need to put forth as much emotion and effort to get the girl.- or the guy, in the case of some of my better looking boyfriends in days gone by- I did get a great looking guy who was also emotional- lol.  Sorry about TMI.  That is how I viewed it- so it made perfect sense to me.

Updated On: 12/5/19 at 05:40 AM
SporkGoddess
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#11
Posted: 12/5/19 at 12:52pm

I haven't seen the stage show, but it baffles me as to why they changed the ending like that. Trying to make the Duke less cartoon villain-y, perhaps? If that's the way it comes across onstage, I wouldn't like it either.

Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
BWAY Baby2
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#12
Posted: 12/5/19 at 1:16pm


In the musical, Satine elects to be with the Duke to save the Moulin Rouge and her friends. There is an implication that the Duke has gotten violent in the past, but there is no direct threat made. Satine ultimately chooses a life of comfort over love; a pragmatic decision over an emotional one. Then Christian again makes his speech to her, but this time adds a threat of suicide if she does not go with him. This violent threat is what gets her to go to him this time before her death.
Christian clearly loves Satine dearly- and that is why he made his threat- no- it is not manipulative- but a heartfelt response to losing the love of his life. I guess if you were not really loving the show and the plot as it unfolds- you don't buy into the plot- I thought it was very compelling and emotional- and if you look at the grosses for this show- fueled by word of mouth- the best and most effective sales method of all- many people do love this show- see it again- and spread the word. If you love contemporary music and dance- don't deprive yourself of an amazing BWAY experience.

Updated On: 12/5/19 at 01:16 PM
chrishuyen
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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#13
Posted: 12/6/19 at 11:46pm

I didn't see it as Christian manipulating Satine with suicide, but more as him thinking it was his one great love and not wanting to go on without her and just being kind of desperate (the lack of emotional outburst when she DID die seemed a little off to me though).  I feel like I didn't get this as much from the movie, but Christian in the Broadway version just seemed very dumb and naive, to the point where I started caring about Satine's personal arc rather than the development of their relationship as a love story, so I did roll my eyes a bit at his suicide threat (I thought he was planning on shooting the Duke when he first pulled out the gun).

That being said, I did expect them to push the "greatest thing you'll ever learn..." thing a lot more than they did since I'd say that should've been the theme of the show, but they seemed more interested in the Bohemian ideals instead so oh well.  Definitely still a fun show regardless, but it just didn't pack the emotional punch for me that it seemed to want to.

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Problems with the ending of Moulin Rouge#14
Posted: 12/7/19 at 12:21am

I completely agree. I really loved the musical but felt the ending was a let down.  The movie did the climax and the end MUCH better.