I find it hard to believe that The Great Gatsby is receiving not so positive reviews from many critics across the board. I typically forego looking at reviews prior to seeing a movie in order to not have a skewed opinion on it - I mean, I should decide if I hate it or love it right? Hasn’t it been created, or in this case refashioned, for me? So my final verdict is ultimately yes, I thoroughly enjoyed Luhrmann’s adaptation on Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; and I think it would be a shame if you opted out of seeing it due to critical reception for many reasons.
First and foremost, I’ve seen from many reviewers that the soundtrack was a detractor from the movie. I’ve seen statements calling it everything from awful, to tolerable, to “simply not appropriate.” - which baffles me. Why is it not appropriate? Yes, it is a movie that is represented to take place in 1922, but it is also a visual art which must be interpreted and understood by its audience through its medium.The Great Gatsbyis not in the most casual of writing styles, and is saturated with what was relatable in the time period it was written in. This is why it is such an acclaimed book.
Fitzgerald not only introduces you, but enlightens you on his perception of the “Jazz Age” as he describes it. To have that same effect on screen is a feat, and I think Luhrmann overcame it. It took place in the 20’s undoubtedly. The atmosphere, dialect, dress, and even the lightning bugs glowing softly on the rural atmosphere of Long Island, were captured. The music, while yes, contemporary and obviously a deviation away from tradition, draws you in. Why? Because it’s music applicable to our time and we can feel it. It excites, haunts, and saddens us - a common element in many films to influence our emotions and comprehension that Fitzgerald’s writing does so wonderfully on paper. Just because it wasn’t a score crafted by James Horner, John Williams, or Howard Shore (or any other wonderful composer), does not negate its effects - it simply achieves them through a different approach.
And because I went on a tirade about the soundtrack (my BIGGEST) pet peeve, I’ll only mention one other because as usual I’m procrastinating actual things I need to do because I need my Tumblr fix of the day.
Lastly, critics are saying it is style over substance. Which, makes me wonder, have they even read the book? But honestly, have they at least GOOGLED the various elements of Fitzgerald’s book? Although there are MANY themes, one of the them (and I’m not calling it my own, because I’m sure it has been thought/typed/written tons already), I feel is the inequality of substantiation and heavy emphasis on superficiality and all the problems that foster from it.
Luhrmann captured this. “Maybe this lifestyle isn’t so terrible after all?” you ask yourself, enamored by the beautiful artifice that Luhrmann has you under - he reminds you of the realities Fitzgerald so extensively covers. Whether corrupted by wealth and power, or believing that if materialistic satisfactions are met, then unattainable ideas are now within reach - This movie interprets and represents this inequality of what truly matters vs. what we place emphasis on.
Just my…now really long opinion on The Great Gatsby. To those who have seen the film, what do you think of it vs. what critics are saying?
“ Everyone is walking on the edge of life, like a ghost of a shadow, barely alive. Even times in a rush, but it’s going nowhere. Everyone’s connected, but no one is connected, the human element has long been missing. Tell me have you seen it, tell me are we alone, because I need something to believe in ”
Alone (feat. Lauren Evans), by Armin van Buuren
jesus omg help