Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Movie - The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby 

Having read some reviews of this movie I was prepared for the chaotic blend of reality, CGI, and a spectrum of bright colors. One review referred to all of this as an orgy of color. That's about right. I thought it was a bit visually disruptive, but I got used to it/didn't let it bother me and as the very long movie (2hr 23min) progresses, these weird scenes become less intrusive. 

I have a lot of thoughts about Gatsby, the book. This movie made me think about why I was not a fan of the book when I read it the first time (8th grade, maybe?) and a little more of a fan when I read it the second time (2009, maybe?) and how I might truly enjoy it if I were to read it a third time. 

As an English major, I feel guilty for not falling head over heels for classics like The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye. Of the former, I think its message was wasted on me in 8th grade. Of the latter, I've read it 2-3 times and it has never done anything for me. 

Gatsby, the movie, was good enough to evoke a strong desire in me to read the book for a third time. I thought the portrayals of Gatsby, Nick Carraway, and Tom and Daisy Buchanan were exceptional. I thought the acting was mesmerizing and the movie did not seem at all to drag on, but to speed up and move toward the inevitable crash and unraveling of an ideal future. The use of Fitzgerald's words floating on the screen from time to time as Carraway reads them was a powerful touch too. 

I know this movie has a 47% score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it green and rotten, but occasionally I don't see eye to eye with the consensus on that site. Dicaprio's portrayal of Gatsby is spot on. The guy still glows with this youthful exuberance and it's exactly what I expect Gatsby to look like, increasing the mystery of his wealth, the house, and the parties. 

I enjoy it when a movie makes me want to reread a book. If you're on the fence about this one, I think it's worth it. 

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