Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Great Gatsby: Great Fun and More

If you're thinking of seeing Baz Luhrmannn's extravagant recreation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic American novel, the Movie Slut gives you the green light.

 Oh, yeah, the green light. It's the image that opens this 2-hour and 23-minute spectacular with Jay Gatsby gazing across the water at the blinking light on Daisy's dock. And then you're off, lost in this tale about hectic Jazz Age New York, the careless lives of the rich and shallow and the young man who had the temerity to believe, heart and soul, in the American dream.

"Over the top" are words that have been used to describe this film in a negative way. But the MS, who read the novel last month, found the movie an accurate portrayal of Fitzgerald's work in both tone and story.

Much has been made of the soundtrack, which features contemporary artists, including Jaz-Z, and Beyonce. But the music that soars was composed by George Gershwin, no matter that the action takes place in 1922 and "Rhapsody in Blue" was written two years later. It fits the sweeping arc of the tragic story, which reaches tremendous heights before crashing to its inevitable end.

The cast — with Leonardo DiCaprio as the irrepressible Gatsby,  Carey Mulligan as the superficial Daisy and Toby Maguire as Nick Carraway, the awed narrator — is impeccable.

The costumes are magnificent.

It's been said that more copies of this poignant novel were sold in 2013, the week before this movie opened, than in Fitzgerald's short life. Maybe his contemporaries weren't ready for the truth  about ugly class divisions and prejudice in their supposedly egalitarian society.

1 comment: said...

Great review Barbara. Reading the book may help you appreciate this movie a bit more, but being a person who actually read it; I don’t know how much it actually will.