“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
―F.Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
How I loved this movie. I was waiting for it for multiple reasons, first being Leonardo Dicaprio. I simply love his acting. Most of his performances delight me, it is an actor that can inspire a lot of emotions and not only to me, I am sure. Since I last enjoyed his performance in Django Unchained by Tarantino, I couldn’t wait to see him embody Jay Gatsby. Once again he amazed. Feel free to disagree, of course.
But Leo was not the only reason I was eager to watch this adaptation. I read Fiztgerald novel and like almost everyone who reads a novel and then watches its cinematographic adaptation, I didn’t go without expectations. Which can be tricky. Yet, I didn’t go with prejudices either.
I don’t think anyone with a bit of cinematographic knowledge can expect an adaptation to be “faithful” to a literary work. We don’t exactly know what it means.
Though we know what we really want to see in the movie. For me, the major themes have to be present in the movie. The characters too but that goes along, right ? Characters are the carriers of the major themes and symbols, so if you fail to depict them, convey those themes can get very difficult. None of this happened. Daisy was fairly depicted as for Nick.
Luhrmann managed to make us enter a world so far away from ours and so particular, a world we don’t really have a grasp on in the novel either, just like Nick, we are drawn to it, the attraction is powerful but we don’t understand it and we observe more than we act. The first minute of the movie successfully open this world of wonder. Yes, wonder. All this money, all those lights and colors, constant movements and chatters. The New York of 1920s seems barely real.
My sister hadn’t read the novel, therefore she knew nothing about the tragic love story that we witness. And if it is true that we take interest – once again, like Nick – for the romance, we cannot say that this story is only about love. It is rather about the American Dream and its decline and well, just like the book confronts us to this superficial and almost pathetic – according to me – society from the beginning, Luhrmann manages to amaze us and show us how delusional it was.
Good job. I was both amazed, appalled and happy that I never lived this period.
I loved the Green Light, the Valley of ashes and the Eyes of Dr T.J. Eckleburg. Those little elements that are of importance in the novels but that you don’t necessarily think about seeing in the movies because you don’t get enough time to truly see what they mean to the story and to the characters.
So I’d say this was a great adaptation. I found what I was looking for. And more…
Well, Luhrmann I didn’t expect less from you. Your adaptation of Shakesperar Romeo + Juliet ( 1996 ) was already daring and absolutely great – again, not only because of a young and promising Leonardo Dicaprio – and though I wasn’t a fan of Moulin Rouge ( 2001 ), I then couldn’t doubt you’d be able to capture the atmosphere and turn it into a theatrical and intense mise-en-scene.
Oh and the soundtrack.. Shall we speak of the soundtrack ? This is the other main reason why I couldn’t wait for this film. How to give a modern-day vision to the story !
Some of my favorites :
Over the love by Florence + The Machine ♪
Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey ♫
Together by The XX ( I didn’t expect this one but Oh, delight ! ) ♪
Beyonce, Jay Z, Emili Sandé, Will.I.am, Gotye, Nero, Sia …
What did you think of The Great Gatsby ?
The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann with Leonardo Dicaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki…