My first post on my newly created second blog goes to Baz Luhrmann’s film, The Great Gatsby. Now this blog is by no means a platform for reviews, nor is it dedicated to film, it’s merely for anything that comes to my mind that I want to express.. And as I’m quite a lover of travel, film, creativity & fashion, and having a general (dis)interest in what’s going on in today’s obsessive society, I do presume this is what my posts will be about – but who knows where my bored little mind will hurtle.
So here goes. After hearing the hype (the good, bad & nasty), and as I am a huge fan of almost anything Leonardo DiCaprio steps foot in, I had to take time out of my busy travels and finally watch The Great Gatsby. Not only was the film ranked a lousy 49% by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, some reviews I came across spoke of the film as being ‘dull’, ‘lacking quality’ and ‘pointless’. Usually I’m one to agree with the critics over the audience on Rotten Tomatoes, but I really don’t see how the film can be defined by any of the above adjectives. Many would call it ‘confused’, ‘excessive’ and ‘baffling’, but these words I can somewhat agree to, and I’ll soon tell you why. Truth is, I haven’t read the 1925 novel (now don’t start cursing me!!), and what I have heard and read about it, it IS different from the film. To the haters, I do agree with you on that one. However, what one forgets is this is purely a film; it should be judged solely as a film and nothing but a film.
So by viewing Gatsby without the interruption of its original novel, it becomes apparent that Baz Luhrmann creates a visually arresting masterpiece. Now I’m not going to sit here and write a full review on the film and each of it’s techniques like I used to in English class, but I thought I’d sum it up with what I feel is best. Luhrmann’s use of captivating colours and overall miss en scene is at a peak throughout the whole film, and he really gives no option for a single blink. His use of filters and lighting not only complement the colours and mise en scene, but create a misty, dreamlike picture, reflecting Gatsby’s unknown confinement in what have really been his own dreams (and mine too, being with Leo of course *sighs*). His modern twist gives the film a perfect touch, and this is where I know a lot of critics and novel lovers disagree. Yes, I’ll make a wild statement – maybe the film should have been titled ‘The Average Gatsby: Based loosely on F . Scott Fitzegerald’s The Great Gatsby’ (my jokes can be horrible, but you get me). Nevertheless, the use of modern-day traces like the tunes of Jay Z really do make the film stand out, and bringing something like this to a classic story is what I call clever. Luhrmenn’s a smart man, this is clearly what he intended to do. And hey, who likes when directors copy novels word for word? Let’s not lack originality now. Who knows, Luhrmann could have also planted these modern touches to reflect the overall narrative and characters lives; confused, excessive, baffling.
So Luhrmann, my cloche goes off to you, or maybe a baseball cap in this case, for your inventive interpretation and brilliant cinematography in The Great Gatsby.
What are your thoughts on the film? Next post will be up soon.. It may be on another film, or a place I’ve travelled to – oh the suspense! (Not really, but stay tuned!)