Saturday, 18 May 2013

Can You Repeat The Past?

You most certainly can't! When I say this I mean that the previous adaptations of the great novel, The Great Gatsby have been nothing like the book.

Baz Luhrmann's visionary, yes visionary, take on the classic novel is amazing. It reminded me of his previous films, Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge then made me forget about the awful Australia.

After the film had finished I tried to listen to the not as bad as I thought soundtrack. But the three ignorant women sitting in front of me talked over it. They were discussing the film in a way that was clear that they had never read the book. They kept saying they didn't understand the music. I didn't understand why that was the only thing they could talk about. Fools.

The casting choices were perfect. Leonardo DiCaprio is Jay Gatsby. Better than Robert Redford, he played Gatsby like the modest gentlemen and his obsession with Daisy was weird or disturbing but delusional and hopeful. As for Tobey Maguire, he was excellent as Nick Carraway. In all the adaptaions, Nick has never been played to what he is, a watcher, he sees all. I see him as the giant billboard eyes of Doctor T.J. Ecklesburg, watching over the Valley of Ashes and all the characters in the story. In the film there is a connection that Nick is somewhat an image of F Scott Fitzgerald himself. If I had to pick a character to be, I'd be Nick Carraway.

Like Baz Luhrmann's previous films, the opening sequence to the film is amazing. Black and white film that changes to a bright shiny black and gold Art Deco crazy panels (the poster colours) that opens onto a isolated building complete with dock covered in ice and snow. The introduction is similar to book but in the film there is someone for Nick, the narrator to talk to, which I didn't like at first but in time it made sense and gave reason for the character to write.

I have read a review that said the film had no heart. This is a complete lie. At the 'heart' of the film is a great love story. On one side, a man who is so in love with Daisy that he created an extravagant lifestyle and made his money from crime, and then on the other side is Daisy, she is in love with Gatsby, that is true, but she craves money and security more. There is heart in the film and it isn't just from the romantic story but through the friendship between Nick and Gatsby which I don't think is focused on enough. In this film it touched upon it more, in narration though. We, the audience didn't necessarily see the days out spent together but the way Nick talks about his friend Gatsby, he admires this man and mentions several times that he's never met/seen a man like this before or since. Seen as admiration or friendship, I think that the great friendship was addressed more.

The coursework I did on the book was pretty bad. The drafts I wrote were far better, my teacher at college even said so. He said that I obviously understood book and the themes but my final peice was nothing like my work leading up to it. I think its because I wanted to write about another subject about the book but the question that was used was rubbish. Or maybe I just wanted to read the book frak the coursework.

The film, like the book, was beautiful. Again, the film was visionary with not only the choice of music but the way the film was shot and edited. It was fast and furious in the right places and then slow and sweet for the right places in the story. I loved it and if you loved the book, this film is loyal to it and has spark of orignality that is actually good!

Only problem with it, Myrtle is meant to be slightly chubby and she wasn't, she was a thin stick and therefore didn't quite seem like the character she was meant to be. It needed a fat Myrtle.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree about myrtle!! It was a great film, Baz is visionary. x