Extravagant. Luxurious. Indulgent and “full of money”. These are a few of the words that could be used to describe what is Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby. This director has received much criticism for his “over the top” and inaccurate portrayal of the classic American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Critics say that in this version, Luhrmann fails to recognize that America is on the brink of a depression and doesn’t remain true to the complexities of the novel.
The first 30 minutes of this film left me dizzy as I watched what seemed to be a trippy dream, a somewhat fantasy world. With the bizarre editing and transitions, as well as CGI landscapes, the first part of the film left me overwhelmed, and not in a good way. There seemed to be way too much going on, and not enough depth, leaving the audience without even a moment to catch it’s breath. Thankfully, after the huge party scene featuring music from Jay Z, the film started to show it’s true merits.
In my opinion, Luhrmann not only represented the era that was the Roaring 20s, his interpretation epitomized it. As Gatsby sped away from the city to Long Island in his yellow custom sports car he sped towards disaster, just as America tumbled from glitz and glamour straight towards a future no one was prepared to face. Tobey McGuire was perfect as the narrator, and he employed just the right tone. I didn’t even mind the cursive script scrawled across the screen while Nick Carraway recorded his memories, as it showcased the famed words of Fitzgerald himself. Although Mulligan was wonderful as Daisy Buchanan, it was DiCarpio and McGuire that carried the film. While the Gatsby/Daisy love scenes were beautiful, the friendship and mutual understanding shared between Gatsby and Nick Carraway, (only referred to by Gatsby as “old sport”) made the greatest impression. It was only Nick that understood the true, tortured nature of Gatsby, and the impossible love he had for Daisy. These two stars did an excellent job of portraying these characters.
Even if you aren’t a fan of Luhrmann’s work, see this film. It is visually stunning; as the cinematography is incredible, the costumes designed by Miuccia Prada are divine, and Lana Del Ray‘s “Young and Beautiful” strikes just the right chord as it is interwoven throughout the film. Indulgent, over the top, luxurious, and heart wrenchingly beautiful, was Baz Luhrmann’s take on this American classic. Some may say it was too much, but isn’t that what this man called Gatsby is all about?
Gatsby Style Inspiration: Modern Day Daisy Buchanan
In the photos below I am wearing: pale pink peplum top with gold studs from Forever 21, black leather shorts from Forever 21, nude pumps(old), gold chain bag, and an ivory jeweled headband from Free People. Also wearing Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Infrared Matte.