“yeah im a lesbian trapped inside a man’s body” the cishet male laughs as he highfives one of his dudebros. suddenly he gives off a look of pure terror and a piercing shriek as his skin is ripped apart, much to the horror of his crew. his skin falls to the floor and a woman is left standing where he once was. “FINALLY” she roars, kicking one of the dudebros in the dick before running into the sunset in search of some hella fine ladies.
This. Funny. Reads
This was pretty much exactly what I thought might happen when I read that Baz Luhrmann was directing, though I hoped I was wrong, really I did because I love the source material.
It rubbed me up the wrong way instantly by placing Carraway in a sanitarium, recounting the story to some kind of psychiatrist to justify the occasional voiceover.
Luhrmann’s vision of The Great Gatsby is a garish, fairytale world, painted in 6 layers of CGI, floating words and letters, and redundant 3D to ensure we are unable to see anything beneath the shiny surface of the story. Yes, the party scenes are excellent, he captures the grotesque, arrogant flamboyance of the thing wonderfully with his trademark style but seems to have missed the a large chunk of the point of the book.
The whole idea of metaphor seems totally lost; for example the party on Carraway’s trip into New York with Tom Buchanan, rather than simply hear Carraway speak of being both within and without, and be allowed to ponder what he might mean, we are bombarded with a CG montage of Carraway stood on the street looking up at himself as he stares out a window zooming in (presumably with some kind of steampunk 1920s equivalent of Google Glass) on people’s windows… oh look…not everyone is the same… or something.
Despite having assembled an absolutely fantastic cast the only performance worthy of real praise is DiCaprio’s turn as Gatsby himself, which at least hints at - if not fully realising - the depth of the character.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t awful, but it isn’t good either. The pace is slow at times, the CG is pointless and the hybrid vintage-modern soundtracking, while effective in places, is jarring in others.
3 words Baz Luhrmann might want to look up in the dictionary: Metaphor, nuance, subtlety.