Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Great Gatsby

So, The Great Gatsby. The loooooooong-awaited, super-hyped Great Gatsby. It actually proved to be everything I was (dreading) expecting.
First, it definitely is a Baz Luhrman movie, no doubt about that, with some of the things he does that I love. The extravaganza, of course. I love how he recreates these extravagant red-velvet-and-feather atmospheres. The directing style, too, is everything Baz Luhrman has been known for. The extensive use of in and out zooming, the shiny red-light, the fast-forward. And last but not least, the costumes from Miuccia Prada are obviously incredibly beautiful. And, well, everyone has been speaking about it.
But then, when costumes steal the show, it is never a good sign, is it? Because even though I had pleasure watching it, I can't deny I was a bit disappointed.
First, what with the voice over? True, the best thing about this novel is the text (definitely neither the story, nor the characters), but film is another medium. And it would have been great to see how Baz Luhrman takes the higher road and skips the narration. (And please, Baz. No more words fading in and out on screen...)
But mainly, I am still eagerly waiting for Baz luhrman to rock my world and take my breath away the way he did with Romeo + Juliet. Despite the enormous budget, talented team and glittery cast, the movie is not as groundbreaking as it could have been. The thing is, with the Great Gatsby one expects extravaganza and grandiose. And that makes Baz Luhrman's rendition, despite the collaboration with Jay Z, almost too literal.
I would have loved to see him recreate Gatsby in a different world, say Wall Street just before Lehman went bankrupt. That would have given bones and substance to quite a pale story.

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