Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Great Gatsby -- a quick review!

Guess what I went to see?!

via here

Impatient as I am, it took me no time at all to secure tickets to the most anticipated* film of the last year (*OK, second most after Les Mis) -- as I understand, release of The Great Gatsby was postponed so the film could undergo more post-production work.

Cynics thought this may lead to style over substance but let's remember this is a Baz Luhrmann film, and style is one of the things he does best.

And I enjoyed it. And I may well have developed a bit of a girl-crush on Jordan Baker (played by Elizabeth Debicki). Jordan was always my favourite character in the book -- ballsy and knowing.

via Pinterest

...Admittedly, I prefer Luhrmann's earlier Red Curtain trilogy, and in a toss-up between LM and TGG for my favourite new release of the last six months, Les Mis has the edge. Gatsby is flawed -- the same handful of cynics have derided the film for its liberties with the original text: Nick Carraway relays his narrative from a sanitarium, and key characters such as Myrtle and Jordan are sidelined somewhat (Isla Fisher's Myrtle is an almost whoreish caricature in this version -- at least in the 1974 Jack Clayton-directed version in which Myrtle was played by Karen Black, you could see more readily where her anger came from).

Additionally, Gatsby, whom I have always seen as elusive, is a lot more upfront and present than I remember though this may just have been a good opportunity for Leonardo Di Caprio to demonstrate his considerable skills -- his Gatsby is so much more of a wreck than Redford's and his continual pursuit of Daisy, despite the odds, is considerably more opaque.

But where Luhrmann adheres to the text he does it with panache. I spied a critique online that derided him for making Gatsby too similar in parts to Moulin Rouge, but anyone who's seen the Red Curtain Trilogy will appreciate the self-referential nature of Gatsby as part of Luhrmann's more flamboyant body of work. OK, the lady-fan doth protest too much but hey.

The film is worth a look -- these are just my own pro-Luhrmann opinions! Besides, there's a Lana Del Rey song on the soundtrack that is just perfect and makes up for the slightly odd Jay Z overload elsewhere!

Here is is. Enjoy.

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