So I went to see this film at the weekend. About three days after I'd read the book. Yup. I was both almost optimistic and expectant of an absolute horror of a film.
It was actually quite good.
So this film was directed by Baz Luhrmann (I think I've spelt that right...), who, for those of you who are similarly not old enough to remember who directed it because it came out the year you were born, also directed that version of Romeo and Juliet that was just needlessly weird, and Moulin Rouge, which was also needlessly weird but also good.
That was a long sentence. Basically, I was worried that this film would tend more towards Romeo and Juliet than Moulin Rouge (though I had a feeling that the visual weirdosity would actually fit for The Great Gatsby).
Of course, I, as always, was right. The magicalness that I mentioned in my review of the book was very well visually represented. The parties were party-ish, and our first viewing of Daisy was beautiful -- curtains flew everywhere, etc. It was wonderful.
And it was pretty sticky to the book, if you ignore the beginning and the end. And the bit where Nick is in some sort of therapy centre in The Future, but nothing particularly good/exciting/important was missed out. Unless you count Nick and Jordan's fling...
Okay, what I'm trying to say is it stuck to the book better than a lotta lotta films do.
It's the casting that let it down in the end.
Nick was the guy from spiderman. Apart from the fact that having spiderman running around twenties New York was strange, there wasn't really any acting going on. I mean, sure, Nick in the book is more of a tool for moving the story along and telling it in the first place than a character in his own right, but in a film you'd at least expect to see a reaction or two in his facial expressons -- everything going on is pretty crazy, after all -- but no. Nick always just looks a bit gone or confused or, in The Future, depressed. Daisy, my mother tells me, was insipid. But I don't really know what insipid means, so we'll just skim over that part. I also had issue with Myrtle. Not because Myrtle was an obviously bad actress, but because I just never saw her as beautiful when I read the book. I saw her as, perhaps, a teensy bit fat, a teensy bit older, and a little bit more old-school uppity than a beautiful woman with a 'washed-out' kind of guy. After all, whatshisname already had Daisy, and, if Nick was to be believed, nobody would be able to hold up against her, so why bother finding someone to try? Whatshisname was also weird. Is that what sporty types in twenties America looked like? Weird.
The only good casting was everybody's favourite, Gatsby. He was played, as I'm sure you already know, by Leonardo di Caprio. If you ignore the weird accent that Gatsby seemed to pick up every now and again, he was brilliant. The last scene he was in... I didn't cry, because, as I said in the review of the book, what happened was expected, but still... it was absolutely beautiful. It was the moment at which the fan girl inside of me wanted to jump up and down shouting 'the feels', while the rest of me told the fan girl to 'shut the fuck up, this bit is amazing'. It was awesome.
All in all, this film was surprisingly good. Different, but good. And yet... there's something about it (probably the casting, as outlined above) which makes me think that it will fall easily out of the collective conciousness of the world within the next year or so. Therefore, I'm giving this four stars. Make sure you watch it before you forget it was ever made.
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