The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby has a pretty uninspired plot, but the cinematography is great. It's a good way to find out what the story's all about, if you aren't familiar with it already.

I've never read The Great Gatsby, and I had no idea what it was about, so I was a blank slate coming into the movie. I was surprised by how long it took for Leo to make an appearance. I was like, "he is in this movie, right?" The opening parts with all the partying were kind of obnoxious and hard to follow. The camera was all over the place, and everything seemed a little shaky, a little off. Maybe that had to do with the 3D aspect (although I didn't watch it in 3D). Everything was kind of exaggerated and crazy, which was probably the effect they were going for, but I didn't exactly enjoy it.

I felt bad for Tobey, always getting pushed around by everyone all the time. I think it would've been interesting to do the party scenes with the music they actually would've listened to at the time. The rap music worked to get a "party" feel going, and it never felt out of place like it did in The Man with the Iron Fists (maybe RZA could take a note from Gatsby, or maybe rap music just fits partying better than martial arts), but it did feel like the only modern thing in the movie.

Baz Luhrmann did do a great job with the visuals. Everything about the cinematography was interesting,  and I am glad I went to the theater to see it. It's very bright and shiny. Lots to see. The floral setup in the house was especially impressive. I felt really bad for Tobey then, too, an outcast in his own house. He seemed pretty oblivious to how much he was being used, though.

Carey Mulligan didn't really work for me as Daisy. She was supposed to be an epic beauty, but she's pretty plain. It's disappointing that Gatsby was a crook. The fact that he lied about his past wasn't a huge deal, but you couldn't root for him anymore after you knew how shady everything was. Even if Daisy had left Tom, I don't think Gatsby would've been an honest man, or have been happy making an honest living, so it wouldn't have been any good, anyway. Daisy was pretty stuck up, so she probably wouldn't have been happy with a normal life, either.

Leo did a good job with the acting. It was pretty crazy at the beginning, but I guess that's how it was supposed to be. Gatsby was off his rocker for sure, though. I wasn't impressed with how everything turned out; Daisy killing Myrtle and her husband killing Gatsby. It didn't seem fair that he had to take the fall for Daisy. He wouldn't have been happy if he had lived, anyway, but still. It was a bummer that no one came to his funeral. The whole thing reminded me of American Psycho; in both movies, the moral of the story is basically "image-obsessed people suck."

It did kind of have an interesting message at the end, though, about the impossibility of trying to regain the past or a missed opportunity, because you just wind up being dragged backwards. That's true, I guess. You've got to look at the reality of now and go from there, not be aiming for something that might not be a possibility anymore. And what Tobey said was true. Gatsby did want too much. He expected Daisy to have never loved Tom. It's like Daisy said; wasn't it enough that she loved Gatsby in the now? It's not the end of the world that there was a point when she loved Tom. She was married to him, after all.

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