Saturday, November 15, 2014

Wow, The Movie is Better than the Book? (Ah, Baz Luhrmann!)

I never, ever thought I was going to say this (literature "purist" that I am) but I like Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby way better than the book! It helps that I don't much like the book, I suppose, but I still think it's very well written and a "classic."

I re-read it late last year, hoping to see the movie in the theater (something I do extremely rarely), but that never happened, and now I will have to re-read it again! Sigh... I first read it for my 20th  century American lit class in college (I was an English major, after all!) and I thought it was such a depressing book, full of hopeless characters, which I guess it is.

The movie does a brilliant job with the story, though! It takes a few liberties -- Nick in a Sanatorium doing therapy sessions with a psychiatrist and writing the story as therapy was... I don't know... an interesting ploy to introduce the narrator, a bit forced, perhaps -- but I suppose it's a minor detail. The plentiful use of words on the screen (as well as the writing done by Nick) emphasize the literary character of the work and I obviously love that.

Like in Luhrmann's previous movies, the art direction, the cinematography, costume & set design as well as the soundtrack (20th & 21st century music mixed to convey the roaring 20s!) are 100% over the top, which fits this particular story amazingly well! And the inventive language Luhrmann uses is also fascinating.

I'm sure I could go on and on, but it's 2 am (and I'm fudging on the time of the post for NaBloPoMo's sake once more, hello!) and I still need to cook some before I can sleep. Maybe more later?!

Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

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