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How Does the Mise En Scene in the Opening of Moulin Rouge Affect How We Respond to the Characters and Setting?

  • Date Submitted: 02/01/2015 08:11 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.9 
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HOW DOES THE MISE EN SCENE IN THE OPENING SEQUENCE OF MOULIN ROUGE AFFECT HOW WE RESPOND TO THE CHARACTERS AND THE SETTING?
The director conveys the personalities of the men and women through Costume. This technique is very effective because it really gives us a sense of society and the men and women’s positions within that. The women in Moulin Rouge wear very frilly dresses that are very revealing, colourful and bright. The can-can dresses show the world of entertainment under a women’s dress or clothes, which can make the women seem like prostitutes. They are described by Christian as the ‘ beautiful creatures of the underworld’ which can make the Moulin Rouge seem like an underworld in itself, where no one is watching you and all night time pleasures are fulfilled. They are Harold Zidler’s (The ringmasters) “diamond Dogs”. Diamond suggests that they are beautiful, expensive and are seeking love, it can also suggest that they are of some importance and to Harold Zidler in the club, as they might be making money for him. They are expensive, fragile objects to him, however they may only be ‘objects’ and have no more worth than that which can be shown through the word ‘dog’. The word dog can connote true friendship and loyalty or the opposite, a dog can be abused and controlled and have no power over what may be happening. He uses these girls as his tools to get money and may not feel any real sympathy towards them. The women are in the Moulin rouge to seduce men into paying them for sex. The music ‘vous coucher avec moi ce soir’ (will you sleep with me tonight), enforces these notions that the women are here to sell their love to men. The women’s bright colours are almost used by the director effectively to balance out the men’s lack of colour.
Women in this scene are like Barbie dolls in that they are extremely beautiful and their make-up is bright and perfect. Barbie dolls that can be sold and played with. It makes them look very protagonist. Iconography is...

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