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Test how the film conveys the emotion of romantic love. In the essay, define the definition of romantic love with academic resources. 

Your final essay should be a close analysis of one film related to one or more emotions as film scholarly concepts. The film should be the starting point of your argument.

Importance of art in contemporary society

In the materialistic globalized world of today, art is central to the soul of every living individual. The contemporary generation is too much invested in the worldly affairs and material things of the world. The people are no longer interested in enjoying the simple things of life such as taking the time to soak in the beauty of nature and engaging in leisure activities. They feel that the more time they spend not working which gives them the finances to satisfy their material wants, the more depressing their life will become. This has a serious adverse consequence on the lives of the people. Over working makes an individual tired and does not give the much required rest to the body. This results in decreased productivity of work, which, in turn, affects the work of the individual in his or her work place. This is where the importance of art comes in. The fundamental importance of art has increased significantly in the modern times because of such a nature of society where the people are only concerned with fulfilling their materialistic needs and desires (Laine). Art helps to give the individual the requisite break and aids in the calming of the body from all the stress and anxiety. This essay seeks to discuss the importance of art and the central position occupied by it within the lives of the human beings. For this purpose, the essay looks into the movie of the romantic genre. Known as Moulin Rouge (2001). The paper further analyze the various specific emotions revealed within the film and analyzes them in depth of how they are received by the audience. The paper concludes with the impact of art on the lives of human beings in the contemporary society.

Art is the mirror image of the present societal conditions in the contemporary world of today; it tries to depict the real life conditions of the people and also portrays what are the various needs, wants and desires of the humankind (Laine). This art can be show cased in a variety of ways such as through the medium of  painting, through acting, through singing and dancing and various other ways by which the emotions of an individual is brought out in front of an audience in an exquisite manner but without explicitly telling the audience (Laine). It depends upon the audience to decipher what the art is trying to show. This fundamentally central position that art occupies in the daily lives of human beings makes it very challenging for the different makers of art to always cater to the different needs of different individuals and to make the various forms of art appealing to their audience (Barsam and Monahan). Moreover, these people also have the responsibility to do something constructive for the society as it is solely through the various forms of art that human beings get inspired to bring in revolutionizing changes in the society for the welfare of the people (Laine). For instance, the dance form of art concentrates on revealing emotions through the medium of body movements. The people engaged in dancing do not talk or speak about what they are trying to portray but by looking at a dance performance, the audience will be able to decipher what the performance is trying to say (Laine). Similarly, the profession of acting is also about showing the emotive side of an individual to the audience (Zaidel). Acting in dramas or movies is done with the purpose of showing how an individual is supposed to act when faced with a particular situation.

Depiction of real-life conditions through art

Within the sphere of movies, there are many different genres such as action, thriller, romantic, mystery, horror and so on (Laine). All these genre focus specifically on inciting one important human emotion of the audience (Goldman). For instance, the movies of the horror genre has the sole purpose of trying to scare the audience and make them afraid. Similarly, the romantic genre of movies tries to portray the emotions of passion and affection within the human beings (Laine).

The movie Moulin Rouge was directed and screened in the year 2001 (Rouge). It is a romantic movie, produced in the background of Paris which is ideal as Paris is a city associated with love and romance. The movie is based on the tragic love between the actress, Satine, which is played by Nicole Kidman, and the lead actor, Christian, played by Ewan McGregor (Rouge). Satine faces a fatal disease of tuberculosis and she is diagnosed to be very near to her deathbed. However, she is adamant to make a name for herself within the sphere of theatre and hence, she keeps her illness a secret for early everybody. Christian is a potential writer who falls madly in love with Satine, unaware of her fatal condition (Rouge). Christian, along with his neighbor, Toulouse-Lautrec, who is played by John Leguizamo, directs a movie whose main aim is to reveal the brilliant talent of Satine to the entire world (Rouge). However, the characters do not have the requisite finances to direct and produce the desired movie. In their search for sponsors, they came upon the Duke of Worcester, played by Richard Roxburgh, who agreed to give the necessary finances for the direction and production of the movie (Rouge). However, his main intention was to win the heart of Satine so that he will be able to pursue her (Rouge). In this movie, the director has tried to preach the ideas of love and sacrifice. The character of Satine was about to make a huge sacrifice, that of her life while the character of Christian personified the concept of love itself. He was so deeply in love with Satine that he gained the strength to overcome barriers which earlier seemed to be too impossible for him.

All the characters in the movie have a unique personality of their own which sets them apart from each other (Krausz). For instance, Satine has a happy and charming personality even though she is suffering from a terminal disease which will end her life very soon (Rouge). In contrast to this, Christian has a melancholic and tragic personality and is sad and depressed most of the times. His concern is creating a noteworthy career for himself so that he can have the finances to enjoy the worldly pleasures (Rouge). This contrasting personalities of the two characters attract them to each other so much so that they end up falling in love with each other (Rouge). The director of the movie, Baz Luhrmann, has tried to prove true the concept that opposite personalities attract each other (Rouge). To provide some comic relief and seriousness in the movie, the characters of Toulouse-Lautrec and the Duke of Worcester have been introduced. The character of Toulouse-Lautrec has to be that of a romantic and happy nature, while the Duke of Worcester has the only concern of how to win the affection of Satine through bad intentions (Rouge). For this purpose, he takes recourse to any means necessary which often leads his character to be duped and susceptible to corruption and bribery. The different personalities of the different characters is what makes the movie interesting and intriguing. All the characters execute their role spectacularly and with grace (Séverin and Pleven).

The variety of art and ways of showing emotions

Moulin Rouge was directed and produced at a time when the women folk were still yet to get their rightful freedom from the agency of the State. The character of Satine represented the desires of most of the women of the world who wanted to work but were unable to do so due to the lack of suitable avenues. Satine was an outstanding actress but in order to catch a break like most of her male counterparts, she had to go through a lot of struggle and hardships. It was not easy to be a female in the entertainment sphere as there would always be somebody trying to exploit her to win favors. This was clearly revealed by the character of Duke of Worcester who only agreed to invest in the proposed movie by Christian because he wanted sexual favors from Satine. This movie beautifully analyzes the various obstacles faced by the female gender in the public sphere dominated by the male gender.

Moulin Rouge is along the lines of musical drama (Rouge). The director concentrated more on trying to impress the audience with the body movements of the various actors and actresses rather than giving them a script to read off of (Nummenmaa, et al.). The movie has a strong message embedded deep inside the movie which is left open to interpretation to the audience. The director did not want to direct a movie where all the information is given to the audience beforehand and there is no scope for speculation and the usage of imagination (Saarimäki, et al.). The movie does not have much coherence in the traditional sense and the actors and actresses have the role to showcase only their emotions without much verbal communication.

The movie is considered to be one of the masterpieces which has the inbuilt aura in it to charm the audience in its own magic (Baveye). The romance that gradually grew between the characters of Satine and Christian was very nicely and commendably executed by the respective actors. The combination of the happy personality of the character of Satine with the forlorn character of Christian made the audience appreciate the fact that people with all types of personalities are capable of love and affection if this is given to them with a clean heart and without any expectation (Rouge). Satine had the courage and strong will to hide about her condition from Christian even though she loved him with all her heart. This was done mainly out of selflessness as she knew that the information would only burden him and he would constantly be trying to find out how to cure the situation instead of spending valuable time with her, just simply being in love (Rouge). Satine knew her time on Earth was limited and she wanted to spend her numbered days as happily and joyfully as she could. The audience might also get a vague hint of selfishness on the part of Satine. They might opine that with Satine gone, Christian would face one of the horrific losses in his life and this would push him into a deeper zone of depression and sadness (Rouge). However, the character of Satine had no such intention and the pure love between the two characters can be deciphered in various scenes within the movie, for instance, the times when the characters looked into each other’s’ eyes (Rouge). Even if the glance was for a few seconds, the audience could see the depth of love each had for the other in those sparkling eyes. Moreover, when Christian goes to Satine in order to find out if she really and truly loved him, she refused to acknowledge her love for him even though she was already starting to fall for him (Rouge). To woo her, Christian made the statement that “Love is like oxygen” implying that his love for Satine is as necessary as oxygen is for the survival of human beings (Rouge). Christian was in love with her so much that he would not have been able to survive without her. It was during this time, that the character of Christian citied several lyrics of romantic songs, such as the songs of The Beatles, who are popular for singing romantic and emotionally appealing songs (Hoover).

Different genres of movies and their focus

Besides romance, several other emotions have also been shown in the movie, such as the emotion of pain in losing one’s life but still being brave (Stadler). When Satine realized that her disease of tuberculosis was fatal and she might die, she was depressed and forlorn initially but then she reasoned with herself that the remainder of her life should not be spend in moping and crying (Rouge). She should make every viable attempts to achieve her dreams and in order to do so, she would require immense courage and optimism (Dermer, Dunham, and Ford Sori). This scene beautifully portrayed the importance of having a strong will power and keeping faith in oneself. The character of Christian was portrayed in a melancholic manner. His character tried to show the various struggles involved for a man pursuing a not so lucrative job as that of a writer (Rouge). The movie hence, not only focused on the romantic aspects of a typical romantic movie (Livingston). The love that blossomed between the characters of Christian and Satine was not the only focus of the movie. The movie tried to give equal importance to all the emotional turmoil that an individual experiences in his lifetime (Liu, et al). There was sadness, joy, love and even jealousy. The aspect of jealousy was portrayed in a vivid manner when the Duke of Worcester wanted to win the affection of Satine only to get sexual favors from her (Rouge). The money which was provided by the Duke was essential for the success of the movie which would propel Satine to her deserving fame, but his actions and intentions made Christian angry with jealousy (Rouge). Satine did not reciprocate the feelings of the Duke of Worcester in any way, showing to the audience that taking a strong and firm stand in front of evil people will most often lead to your win (Acácio and Chambel).

To conclude, it is observed that the movie of Moulin Rouge (2001), directed by Baz Luhrmann, is not similar to the other musical dramas of its genre. It is not also a typical romantic movie. The musical aspect of the movie has been criticized by many to be in the nature of uber musical. There is the use of a lot of music, accompanied by body movements, while the number of lines per character has been relatively less, almost negligible. Such a nature of the movie kept the entire movie open to interpretation and speculation. The audience faced a lot of difficulty in understanding the deeper meaning of the movie in the first go. The movie is very complex to comprehend as there are many human emotions which has been casted by the director. The emotions of pain, suffering, happiness, loss and comical relief, all have been shown in the movie, in accordance to the personality of the characters. This is what made the movie of Moulin Rouge a much talked about movie even in the recent times. The uniqueness of the movie has been well preserved with time and the audience of today is still intrigued with the complex story line and the emotions portrayed in the movie.

References:

Barsam, Richard, and Dave Monahan. Looking at movies. WW Norton & Company, 2015.

Baveye, Yoann. Automatic prediction of emotions induced by movies. Diss. Ecole Centrale de Lyon, 2015.

Chang, Huang-Ming, et al. "Unspoken emotions in movies." Informatik-Spektrum 37.6 (2014): 539-546.

Dermer, Shannon B., Shea M. Dunham, and Catherine Ford Sori. "Movies and emotion-coaching parenting." The therapist’s notebook for children and adolescents: Homework, handouts, and activities for use in psychotherapy (2015).

Ellis, Joseph G., et al. "Predicting evoked emotions in video." Multimedia (ISM), 2014 IEEE International Symposium on. IEEE, 2014.

Goldman, Alan. Aesthetic value. Routledge, 2018.

Guillard, Séverin, and Bertrand Pleven. "Sights, sounds and images: catching the metropolis in/at work (s). Dealing with the analysis of fictional images of the city in music and movies." Articulo-Journal of Urban Research 15 (2018).

Hoover, Elizabeth. "Movies, Moves and Music: The Sonic World of Dance Films eds. by Mark Evans and Mary Fogarty." Notes 75 (2018): 111-114.

Illouz, Eva. Consuming the romantic utopia: Love and the cultural contradictions of capitalism. Univ of California Press, 1997.

Krausz, Peter. "Movies going for a song: The rejuvenation of musicals." Independent Education 47.2 (2017): 34.

Laine, Tarja. "Feeling cinema: emotional dynamics in film studies." (2011).

Liu, Yang, et al. "Mining Emotional Features of Movies." MediaEval. 2016.

Livingston, Jane. "Under the Stars... The Piano Goes to the Movies." (2016).

Moreira, Acácio, and Teresa Chambel. "As Music Goes By in versions and movies along time." Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Conference on Interactive Experiences for TV and Online Video. ACM, 2018.

Nummenmaa, Lauri, et al. "Bodily maps of emotions." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.2 (2014): 646-651.

Rouge, Moulin. "Baz Luhrmann." Twentieth Century Fox(2001).

Rouge, Moulin. "Director: Baz Luhrmann." Australia: Twentieth Century Fox and Bazmark Films (2001).

Saarimäki, Heini, et al. "Discrete neural signatures of basic emotions." Cerebral cortex 26.6 (2015): 2563-2573.

Stadler, Jane. "“Mind the Gap”: Between Movies and Mind, Affective Neuroscience, and the Philosophy of Film." Projections 12.2 (2018): 86-94.

Zaidel, Dahlia W. "Culture and art: Importance of art practice, not aesthetics, to early human culture." Progress in brain research. Vol. 237. Elsevier, 2018. 25-40.

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