The film also stars John Leguizamo as Toulouse-Lautrec, who is the impetus for almost everything that takes place. It is Lautrec who convinces the English Christian to embrace the turn of the century Bohemian ideals that abounded in the Paris of the late 19th and early 20th Century, and it is Lautrec who puts forth Christian to write the play in which Satine is to star. It may be Lautrec who best embodies the entire production – he experiences the highest highs of the other characters and the lowest lows, and Leguizamo carries off the role with all the humor and seriousness it requires.
The films supporting characters go far beyond Leguizamo's Toulouse-Lautrec, Roxburgh's Duke, and Koman's Argentinean however. Jim Broadbent turns in a truly outstanding performance as Harold Zidler, the owner of the Moulin Rouge and the man who hopes to put on Christian's show, "Spectacular Spectacular," with the Duke's money.
Moulin Rouge! is, unquestionably, a love it or hate it experience. It is a musical like few others, but something clearly in the Baz Luhrmann oeuvre. Luhrmann also brought us the Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio version of Romeo + Juliet (1996) which places the two star-crossed lovers in the modern day but keeping the original language. He is, in short, a visionary director. His vision may not be for everyone, but Luhrmann's films with their distinctive visual style are certainly something which everyone ought to experience at least once. It is full of nods to not just pop music and the magic of love, but also has more than a few nods to Bollywood.
Happily, the newly released Blu-ray of the film almost perfectly captures the color, sound, and wonder of the film. Moulin Rouge!'s visuals sport more than one look, from old-time black and white grain to that of modern-day high-gloss Hollywood, and all of them look great on the disc. The colors are incredibly rich, the diamonds sparkle beautifully, The Green Fairy floats in mesmerizing fashion, and the level of detail is high. It is an incredibly faithful representation of the theatrical release both in terms of the visuals and the soundtrack. This latter aspect is done with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which has both the bass and all-encompassing sound one would expect to get were they actually at a nightclub. It is a clean, crisp audio track and it helps make the experience everything it should be.