Friday, May 10, 2013

The Great Gatsby (3-D)

Baz Luhrmann (of Moulin Rouge fame- one of my favorite pictures) had to make a decision- remake Gatsby as a boring, rehash of what has all ready been done  (and the boring applies to the film with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow), OR take his usual use of imagery and contemporary feel and make it a real visual extravaganza. Fortunately, he chose number two and used Jay-Z to throw in some music. Because WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU DO if you wanted any commercial audience to give a damn. Look, anyone who went to a halfway decent high school probably had this book on their reading list. I have no idea if  Luhrmann and his co-writers lifted exact dialogue (other than "Old Sport"). If I had to bet, I'd say they did. I'm sure there are a lot of people who will positively HATE this film. But with a book this dated, with a story everyone knows, I'm not sure what people would expect Luhrmann to do. Get real here. It is a spectacle-complete with fireworks and dance- and I loved it. So did Alex. It is flashy and beautiful and lively and fun. I was actually surprised at how much I liked it. I think DiCaprio is a fine Gatsby- why not? If Robert Redford could do it, then Leo can. Cary Mulligan is gamine and yet horrifyingy insecure and weak as Daisy. Tobey Maguire is the only weak link- he really is a tad too boring for his role as narrator.  I've never thought of this book as being about decadence- but Luhrmann must believe in decadence, because he goes out of his WAY to make the setting opulent. Beyond opulent.  If you are going to see this, give Luhrmann his due and see it in 3D. There are 4 other movie versions, an opera, 3 plays and a computer game on this.  Have fun!