The Great Gatsby

I was finally able to see The Great Gatsby this weekend, and no surprise, I absolutely loved it! I am a little bias because it happens to be one of my favorite books of all time, but regardless I think it was very well done. 

For those of you who haven't or even have read the book, the visuals Fitzgerald tries to convey is the rich, lavish and gawdy pattern that comes from having money in the 20s. Though the money seemed great and made you "successful" and Gatsby's parties were amazing, it all had a dirty side. It all looked pretty from a bystander's point of view; all of the colors, jewels and wine, but it was all just for show. If nothing less it turned us into greedy disgusting people. 

Baz Luhrmann took his typical Baz Luhrmann style, amped up the colors, crazed out the set pieces and gave that other wordly, out of your body, cartoon like feel for many of the scenes. While some thought this was over the top, I think is perfectly characterized the moral corruption and haze people were living with in those days. The use of bold and repetitious color also emphasized the outside beauty money seemed to take, though in the end it kind of destroyed everyone. Gatsby become successful and rich in order to impress Daisy and keep her with him, but (generally) that isn't what keeps people around, it's love. 

The relationship between Gatsby and Daisy is always so touching, and I know everyone (including myself) loved seeing Leonardo in that role. And rightfully so, because he did a great job. It wasn't totally a shallow love lusting after his handsomely attractive face, but one based partly on talent. I was so absorbed and intrigued during the film, that when Gatsby was shot, I jumped a little in my seat even though I knew it was coming. 

There will be critics and there will be fans. But the movie truly stuck to the book for the most part. I think that for the first time, some people are finally able to understand Gatsby and the other characters, where as before people walked around without the knowledge of love, lust, the 20s and the great American classic.

Also, I know many people had an issue with the directors using modern music intermixed in the movie. But that is the point, it is intermixed. The way they combined today's pop/rap songs with 20s jazz made for the perfect representation of riches, fame and culture. I thought the songs worked and even nothing else, perked up the audience to hear a familiar tune!  

The colors were brilliant, the ornamentation was divine and Gatsby himself shone through on that screen. 

I give Gatsby a solid A. 


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