Great White Snark: "...among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars."

Friday, May 10, 2013

"...among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars."

So this movie. 

I don't even care that it only got 44% on Rotten Tomatoes. I loved it. 

Of course, as to be expected, it was visually stunning. I mean, dazzling. I think Moulin Rouge was more opulent, but this was no less amazing to look at. Sometimes it felt like it was being overdone, but I can forgive them that. 

As far as "was it an accurate representation of the book," well, yes and no. I mean, the executive producer was Jay-Z for God's sake. Of course it wasn't entirely accurate. It wasn't like the BBC set out to do a straight-from-the-pages adaptation. But I do commend Baz Luhrmann for managing to capture the tone of the novel. There's the frenetic, glittering energy of the parties that compliments and foils the emotional detachment of the characters. One of the complaints reviewers had, btw, was that there was no emotional depth. These reviewers had obviously not read the book. The whole thing is emotionally detached. All of the characters are so numb to what's going on around them, and that's what makes it such an extraordinary story. If the story had happened in 2013, the women would be like, crying and throwing vases and vomitting and the men would be doing lines of coke off of toilet seats in a Burger King. But it didn't, and the characters deal with their remarkable circumstances in such a cool, aloof manner. It allows the audience to feel the emotions for themselves, and by not transferring emotions through the film, I think every viewer gets a slightly different, personalized reaction. 

The casting was good--Leo was, actually, the perfect Gatsby. Carey Mulligan was so pretty as Daisy Buchanan that it was almost painful to look at her, dripping in Tiffany jewels with her perfectly bobbed hair. And she managed to balance Daisy's inner turmoil with her outer cynicism and carelessness, so she gets major props. Isla Fisher, and the people who played Tom Buchanan and Jordan Baker were perfectly cast, too. Tobey Maguire was an odd choice, and I'm not 100% sure I liked it, but he was fine. 

I really liked the juxtaposition of modern music with the story--typical of Luhrmann, but it worked to awesome effect here. I mean, rap is about money and swag, and this film is dripping with swag. There is just so much swag.

So yeah, I liked the music. And you try listening to "No Church in the Wild" without it getting stuck in your head. 

As for people who are like, "Omg, F. Scott Fitzgerald would be rolling in his grave," I politely disagree. I mean, no, I don't think the movie captures all the depth the book has--film adaptations never do (Harry Potter, anyone?). But I think Fitzgerald would've been okay with the casting, and the aesthetic and probably would've been like, "Can Zelda and I come to that roaring great party?" 

It was really good. My only complaint was the non-cannon way they framed the narrative (I won't give details in case of SPOILERS), but that's forgivable. It was a good interpretation of a great story, and I highly recommend it. 

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