FROM AN ACTUAL GATSBY FAN: NO SPOILERS UNLESS YOU'VE CHEATED YOURSELF THE OPPORTUNITY OF READING THE BOOK!!!
So, let me start by saying that The Great Gatsby is my all-time favorite book- and perhaps will always remain as so. I've bought merchandise and basically sold my soul to the deceased F. Scott Fitzgerald. Inside of me it birthed a world I never even knew- I practiced various dance moves from the time, learned vocabulary and even donned a blunt bob. This novel made my life worth something. It's symbolism, it's characters, the American dream in general. So when I heard the movie was coming out, I was determined to make it my absolute favorite; I wanted to die with this movie in my arms.
So on May 10th, I went with my sister and a good friend of mine, had a little adventure getting lost on the way to the theatre, and bought tickets for the 10:50 showing. I did a modern cosplay of Daisy, wearing a silver draping-blouse and a headband that made my pixie look somewhat like Carey Mulligan's bob- needless to say, I was excited, I even brought my Gatsby tote. We entered the theatre, and I shimmied in my seat.
Here's what some may consider Spoilers, but if you read the book you should be able to handle it:
As the movie started my excitement seemed to drop- Why was Nick in a mental institution? I was so confused, but the audience seemed to be eating it up. It was somewhat like going into a cave, and you spotted some sort of carnivorous monster waiting in the back, but no one else seemed to note it. What was this movie that I was getting into?
As the movie advanced, it seem to become a little bit ridiculous- as if the movie were not based in the actual twenties, but rather in a modern day costume party. Don't get me wrong, I sort of liked the intermingling of modern music, but when the actors act sort of like people of today dressing up for their friend's1920's Gangster Themed party it left me to wonder if I could ever find hope with in this. Not to mention Daisy's entrance left me snickering, for it was a little ridiculous- YOU KNOW WHAT, everybody's introductions were a little silly, but would it be wrong to say that I like them. (They were sort of like old friends of mine acting silly, and adding some sort of strange pride into my over judgmental self).
BUT THEN- IT HAPPENED. DIALOGUE FROM THE BOOK! Actual words from the characters, spoken by the characters! ATLAS! HOPE! I found the Green-light for the movie, and I just couldn't get enough! The scenery! The clothes! Even the characters! It was glorious! AND THENNNN they destroyed the foundation of an important symbolic character- Owl Eyes.
Owl Eyes- in the novel- was a drunk man who wandered into Gatsby's library and exclaimed 'these books are real! They are not cardboard!', making some people who do not understand the importance of symbolism just push him off as drunk, but this actually was to show that Gatsby was not fooling around- when he wanted Daisy, he was going for the Gold. His love for her was real, just as were the materialistic things he purchased to woo her. In simpler words- Gatsby wants to treat his woman right. In the movie now, ole Owl Eyes seem to be pompous, not really silly or drunk and not at all surprised by anything, even stating that the host Mr. Gatsby was not as he seemed (?). WHAT. NO. THAT'S NOT WHAT THAT CHARACTER WAS FOR. You cannot take a Bomber Plane and expect it to fly like a jet. NO.
I know, I know. I complain to much. In fact some scenes were so fun, I was blown away. Myrtle's apartment party for one thing! It was so silly, I enjoyed it- but then they ruined it with too much CGI… and i sort of laughed when Nick stated that they danced and partied into the night and there was still daylight. And Tom slapping Myrtle was so over-dramatic in a sense that it lost it's dignity. I feel as thought they tried too hard to make it an overall fun-fun party. At most serious moments, music can be heard that just sort of destroys the overall mood of the scene, and some moments are silent when there should be music! I don't want to hear Gatsby slobber over Daisy's face, but I do want to hear the tension in some conversations in which unwanted music attended.
One other thing, why was Wolfsheim's cuff-links traded out for a tie-tac? And how come Nick was the only one to show up to Gatsby's funeral? The only major problem I had to all of this was that the movie ended abruptly after Gatsby's death. They didn't bother to show how it affected people, like they could have shown the party goers arriving at his house only to turn away disappointed- I would have wept over the fact that they had used Gatsby for their own personal enjoyment! Or perhaps they could have introduce his father, who would have been proud of his son despite what business he had donned. But they didn't.
They took a man of mystery and instead made him look a little insane- a crazy baller all the homies can look up to because he was Swag-as-fuck who treats his woman right and has a classy-ass car; the Jay-Z songs made this image even worse.
But you know what, that's not Gatsby. Gatsby was a mysterious stranger that drew you in with his hope of love and living only to impress those who never cared for him. At some points I saw glimpses of the man I grew to love with every page-turn, but he slowly turned into someone I was most likely to hate at one point in my life.
My overall rating was 6.5/10. It was good, but it was not The Great Gatsby. Sure, they got most of the symbolism correct whereas the other movies failed in that department, but they lacked in the beauty that was the world of F. Scott. They gave me something much cheaper than the booze they served- some what of a poser. They tried too hard to recreate Moulin Rouge, and ended up with nothing less of a joke. I suppose if they had used a beautiful music score and timed it perfectly, it would have been splendid! And perhaps if they used less CGI, I wouldn't have laughed at this beautiful tragedy as much. The costumes, actors, and scenery made up for most of the horror I had witnessed.
Go ahead and watch it, for you may like it more than I did! But I will probably only watch this one more time, for they did something I never thought they could- I never felt sorry for Gatsby. Not even when it received a standing ovation or even as I left the theatre at 1:50 in the morning. It was a fun and beautiful movie, but if you love Gatsby as I have, you will be utterly confused upon the stand-point of this movie.
OVERALL: This movie is candy- appealing to the eye and taste, but so terribly, terribly bad for you.
Listening to: Magical Mystery Tour album
Reading: Paul McCartney:a life by Peter ames Carlin (good)
Watching: Golden Girls
Eating: Raisin Bran