Friday, May 24, 2013
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Y'know, ever noticed how Leonardo DiCaprio tends to play these tragic type strivers in the movies? So why wouldn't he play Jay Gatsby...modern lit's quintessential Jazz Age social climber, I mean it's typecasting at this point after J. Edgar Hoover, Howard Hughes and whatziname on the Titanic? As a matter of fact I'm not I'd cast anyone else as Gatsby at this point he has that weird lack of affect that easily matches Fitzgerald's somewhat furtive protagonist. So the real question is, what is to be made of Baz Luhrmann's lurid glitzy party scenes with their liberal doses of rap music and sundry decadence. Me? I'm fine with it, look "The Great Gatsby" is a novel about a striver's failed attempt to penetrate the overclass and carry off a rather hapless inbred bimbo, period end of story. Sans some morbid decadence and a little flash it can fall into endless talk punctuated by drinking and then wrapped up with a fatal car accident & a shooting. If you don't believe me check out the 1949 adaptation starring Alan Ladd wherein someone at Twentieth Century Fox decided F. Scott Fitzgerald's almighty classic was a sort of high end gangster story with a sniffy attitude towards adultery. I liked the performances all around blank affectless Carey Mulligan was j'es fine as Daisy the same goes for Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton and nigh unrecognizable Isla Fisher as the hapless floozie Myrtle Wilson. My main takeaway from the film and book (finally read the book BTW about a month ago) is that the Overclass is decadent depraved and damn near invincible. Jay Gatsby the aspiring bootlegger the feckless lover of the dissolute Daisy is defeated in all things brought down by desperate love and a sense of honor utterly foreign to his rivals in the Gentry. Ah guess dats what make's em' classics I guess. Y'know, there are two classics out there that are just beggin' for adaptation to the films, Melville's Moby Dick and Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, I can see Baz Luhrmann doing well by either work.