So, now that I’ve had time to process Gatsby I can say that I really didn’t like it. First coming out of the theater I was like ‘eh’ but now I’m mad at all the poor choices. Not trying to be pretentious, I get that books and movies are different mediums and thus adaptations happen and choices are made, I just wasn’t feeling these choices. The worst part is I actually enjoy Baz Luhrmann’s aesthetic and I had high hopes, very sad.
Spoiler Alert! if anyone cares???
The worst problems were:
1. Nick is in a sanitarium due to drunkness/Gatsby’s death or something and apparently writing the story of Gatsby as therapy. It’s woven throughout awkwardly as hell for no reason, you can just have narration you know Baz. Also, same sort device as Moulin Rouge, way to be lazy (noted a ton of Moulin Rouge similarities that took me out of the film more than anything, can’t just apply the same techniques to a different story)
2. They didn’t make anyone seem as useless as they need to seem for the whole point of the book to get across. Their behavior comes off as completely condoned, perhaps this is because Nick lacks the “provincial squeamishness” he’s meant to have in the novel.
3. Daisy and Gatsby are like lalala we’re in love for too much of the movie and Nick is all wingman (soaring with the eagles).
4. Baz struggles with making a sincere adaptation here. Say what you will about R+J but at least he committed there. In Gatsby he apes the style of the age and illustrates the world only for the characterization and tone of the book to be thrown out the window.
5. Tobey Maguire, sorry, no thanks.
6. The editing, what was even happening. Also the words floating around, didn’t see it in 3D but I can only imagine they were designed for that purpose. Other shots were super supposed to be in 3D and it detracted from the cinematography instead of adding to it imo.
7. The ending. There’s no conversation between Tom and Nick over Gatsby getting killed, so you don’t get the closure of Nick’s realization that they’re basically useless children. I also missed when Gatsby’s father shows up for the funeral because it makes that point that Nick doesn’t even know the whole truth.