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"What is paramount is not the situation, not the outcome, but the emotion of love itself, the giving and receiving of genuine, soul-connecting love."

 

Raymond Teague is the author of Reel Spirit: A Guide to Movies That
Inspire, Explore and Empower
, from Unity House. 

He is an award-winning
journalist, an editor of spiritual publications, a popular New Thought
speaker, and a lifelong movie buff. 

His book is available by clicking the "Buy the Book" link above or by clicking here.

  Raymond Teague, 
"Reel Spirit" Movie Reviews

Moulin Rouge
(2001, 123 minutes, PG-13)

It's pretty much a given that any love story, on some level, is a Reel Spirit movie.

After all, love is that most spiritual of energies and emotions, and the attribute most often associated with God. Scriptures and sages tell us that loving one another is loving God.

Not all movies about love are equal, of course. Some have more to say -- that is, tell us more about finding and understanding true love -- than others. Some have one main theme about love, and that theme opens hearts and minds a little more.

Moulin Rouge is primarily a one-love-theme film, and there's no mistaking or overlooking that important message. It is wisely and memorably repeated in the movie. This is the theme:

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

Christian (Ewan McGregor), an idealistic young English writer, pens these words as he remembers his adventures at the Moulin Rouge, the fabled nightclub in the artistic, bohemian section of Paris at the turn of the twentieth century. 

In this frantic, mesmerizing, creative film from director Baz Luhrmann, Christian stumbles into a job writing a spectacular show for the Moulin Rouge. There he falls in love with the club's star, the beautiful but frail Satine (Nicole Kidman).

Luhrmann, who co-wrote the script with Craig Pearce, said the film is based on the Orphean myth about a young poet who searches for perfect love in the underworld.

Christian is the symbol and personification of innocence and innocent love. He values the noble ideals of truth, beauty, and freedom, but mostly love, and is earnestly looking for love. Satine represents experience and world-weary love. He is naive; she is jaded. He isn't wise in the ways of love; she is too wise. Neither has ever truly loved before -- and so are learning their greatest lesson.

Their relationship is full of obstacles, but no matter; the obstacles more clearly elaborate the love theme. What is paramount is not the situation, not the outcome, but the emotion of love itself, the giving and receiving of genuine, soul-connecting love. When all is said and sung and done, the energy and emotion of love that once excited, in whatever form, remains; it can never be dissipated.

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

Christian mentions "love overcoming all obstacles" and sings that "love lifts us up where we belong." 

Satine says, "He loves me and that is worth everything." The highest understanding is that the energy of love satisfies and endures beyond the human stories.

In the continuous flow of innocence and experience in our earthly love stories, in the clash of love with other emotions and forces such as jealousy and power, love itself transcends time and place, and is the greatest thing we ever need to learn.

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