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LONG BLOG

Few thoughts on Luhrmann's Great Gatsby

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Since these are only assorted musings without enough meat (or clean up) to warrant a full feature, I'll put them in a nice little c-blog. I figure this would be a nice way to start a conversation for those who've seen it. I'll try to avoid direct spoilers (as to how things are shown), but I'm going to allude to them if I remember having an issue with it. 

-The original novel is full of terrible folks who do terrible things for terrible reasons. While that sort of comes through in Luhrmann's adaptation (as the bloated nature of the party scenes exemplify the characters' singular worldview), with greater focus on Nick (who's mainly relegated to third person narrator in the text for a reason) and Gatsby's relationship,  some of the darker aspects of the text don't make it. 

For one, Daisy isn't a bad person. She's only sort of selfish and indecisive. From what I understood from the text, you're supposed to feel pity toward Gatsby (and thus his "Great" title makes sense as he's the only character who thinks about something other than himself, even if it's selfish in a roundabout way) since he's done so much for a hollow shell of a person. Daisy isn't given enough time in the film that doesn't involve her on a pedestal of some sort. 



-Luhrmann's style worked for me because it seems that he's found a better way to control the pompous nature of his films. When it's necessary he blows things out of proportion (like the car chase or the fantastic marriage of style and substance with Gatsby's initial reveal), but it's the smaller intimate moments that showed the most promise. When there was no backing track, and only fans blew in the wind (But one stylistic choice pushes it into the stupidly melodramatic. I won't say which one here, but I will hit that it involves Jack White's "Love Is Blindness.")

-There are occasional lapses in pace, but they don't last long. In fact, they help to promote the stagnancy of character development. You should feel like things are moving along "ceaselessly."

-Nick and Jordan's romance wasn't explored. While this isn't necessarily terrible as the film gets a pleasant homoerotic tinge, it relegates Jordan to the sidelines as much as it does Daisy. Female tend to have a rough time in this story in general, but it was never to this degree. 

-The original text's racist overtones are handled splendidly in the film. Black actors and actresses are smoothly in the background (some even get to party), and Gastby has servers from different races. 

-Baz Luhrmann listens to as much Pop music as I do. That "Crazy in Love" cover? HNGGGG

Hmm, I think that's it. There's one thing at the end to which irritated the begonias out of me for its "movie-ness," but I'll let it go for now.
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About Nick Valdezone of us since 3:34 PM on 06.06.2011

Nick Valdez likes donuts and cat videos. Someone also let him be News Editor here.