Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Words: The Gaudy Gatsby?

One of my favorite books that I read during my high school English classes was F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. It was the perfect book for my junior year spring break when it was assigned, and as I was on vacation with my family, I was also wrapped up in the story of the mysterious Jay Gatsby as well as his acquaintances Nick Carraway and Daisy Buchannan.

Oh, the green light! And talk about great closing words for a novel - that final sentence still makes me go "wow."

Anyway, I've never seen a film adaptation of this movie, though I know that Robert Redford starred as the titular character in the 1970s. So I was naturally curious when I heard a few months ago that a new film production was underway, and I was really excited yesterday when I saw the buzz that the trailer for this movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire was now online.

My thoughts on it, however, are mixed. Maybe it's just the mix of the modern music (Jay-Z? Really?) with the world of the 1920s. Maybe it's the editing style combined with the incredibly bright colors that made my senses feel a bit overwhelmed. Or maybe, as is the case with so many film adaptations, the book is always better.

And so I walked away from my viewing experience just thinking "hmm. okay." I'll no doubt see the movie when it comes out at some point, but for now let's focus on the two minutes and 28 seconds that we've been given for the time being. What do you guys think? Would F. Scott be joining the party, or do you think he's rolling over in his grave?

Check out the video below if you missed it! Comments welcome and, as always, happy reading.


  1. OMG. I was just talking about this with my brother.

    I didn't like it. I loveee the cast. Leonardo Dicaprio and Carey Mulligan are crazy talented but this trailer does not suit the story. It is too theatrical. Too much color. Too exaggerated.

    There is no need go so extravagant with the production just to exude that maybe Gatsby held the wrong views on wealth and what the good life is. What I was expecting was a more elegant portrayal of the story. This is too 'Moulin Rouge' for my taste and it doesn't suit the story.

    What you need to focus on in this story is the emotions and faces and reactions of the characters. Not all this theatricality. A shame really because Dicaprio and Mulligan could have delivered that but the look and sets for this movie, kill that.

    The Robert Redford one has the look pat down and Robert was amazing. He exuded so much emotion in his face. What ruins that movie though is who they chose to portray Daisy.

    1. Our thoughts on this are incredibly similar, and it's kind of nice to hear of at least one person sharing my opinions on this when it feels like everyone is over the moon about this new take on the story. I'm interested for sure, but neutral at best. I too was really excited when I saw the casting choices, but to me the novel is all about softness and subtlety of Gatsby's behavior and how even though he threw lavish parties and was incredibly popular, he is actually fiercely private.

    2. YES. I agree on everything. Especially your last sentence. Keyword here being subtlety. That's what the Great Gatsby was to me, as well. In Redford's portrayal of Gatsby you can see that subtlety to the max, the longing but in a soft way. It helped that Redford had that natural air of romance to him, too, in the film.

      I say that because to me, to long for something is an incredibly romantic thing. To idealize it and that is what I felt was going on with Gatsby.

      Honestly, I just think this new film adaptation is an extroverted take on the story, haha, but it is quite ironic since the underlying vibe of the story is the complete opposite.