Like its title character, 'The Great Gatsby' tries to do too muc - New York News

Like its title character, 'The Great Gatsby' tries to do too much

Updated:
By Warner Bros.. Leonardo Dicaprio stars as Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan in Warner Bros. By Warner Bros.. Leonardo Dicaprio stars as Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan in Warner Bros.

By: Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News

Director Baz Luhrmann's new adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” is visually stunning, but ultimately the film feels disjointed because of its inability - or perhaps unwillingness - to acknowledge the tragic consequences of excessive consumption.

The film clocks in at 143 minutes. During those two-plus hours, “Gatsby” can be subdivided into two very distinct parts. For the first 50 or so minutes, the audience is treated to various scenes of riotous Jazz Age revelry through the lens of Luhrmann, the Australian director who still exhibits the same visual flair and distinct color palette that earned him acclaim with “Romeo and Juliet” (1996) and “Moulin Rouge” (2001). Throughout all the partying there is no nudity or swearing, but alcohol consumption and adultery run rampant.

The final 90 minutes of Luhrmann's “Great Gatsby” is a fairly faithful treatment of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, as Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) tries to move heaven and earth to regain the affections of former flame Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). But Gatsby's best-laid plans end in tragedy. Fitzgerald's famous last line in the book - and also the epitaph on his tombstone - succinctly summarizes Gatsby's plight: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

There's no question that Luhrmann deliberately conjured every detail of his “Great Gatsby.” Indeed, his official website includes a list of “research material” for “The Great Gatsby” that is so extensive the New York Times declared “(it) amounts to a grad school seminar on Fitzgerald” and Luhrmann “(has) a textual or historical justification for just about everything in the movie.”

Even though the two “parts” of the film succeed at setting the scene and unraveling a tragedy, respectively, the movie purposely avoids exploring or even acknowledging the very real possibility that Jay Gatsby's overreliance on material wealth may have directly led to his unhappy ending. In other words, the thematic disconnect between the beginning and end of the film is so glaring that Luhrmann's “Gatsby” feels more like two different episodes of a mini-series running back-to-back, instead of one overarching entity benefiting from the coordinated contributions of core components.

“The Great Gatsby” is rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language.

Original post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Hundreds celebrate Easter at St. Patricks Cathedral

    Hundreds celebrate Easter at St. Patricks Cathedral

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:37:51 GMT
    Hundreds of people showed up to Saturday's mass at St. Patricks Cathedral to celebrate Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians around the world.
    Hundreds of people showed up to Saturday's Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral to celebrate Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians around the world.
  • NYC police investigating body in plastic container

    NYC police investigating body in plastic container

    Police in New York City are questioning a suspect after discovering a dead body stuffed into a large, black plastic storage container.
    Police in New York City are questioning a suspect after discovering a dead body stuffed into a large, black plastic storage container.
  • Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:00:18 GMT
    Auto fans you may already know this the 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
    Auto fans you may already know this the 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices