The Great Gatsby Reviews
When we look from afar to places we yet to go. when we can look back at a time of great mistake in how we met the most intriguing man who we look up too. When we know now what to look for when looking into the future the past was a mistake. When we look at a time where it all began, where everything is booming, everyone looking great and happy basking in the indulgence of it all. When some names says it all when gossip and looking out for the 'whose who' is getting competitive, when everythibg is looking up in business. When some looks are everything when people are into looks from the strong, silent and mystery type. When we can all look at our upbringings and look from the distance how far we come. When looking from on far that desire burns to not get to see from upclose what we been looking at our whole life. When we come from places where people dont look at us at all. When we have looks on everything from our business and personal life, to have looks for other people. When we only have looks for some people only to focus our gaze right at it. When we rather give some people the closer look into us when we give them the info personally. When we get to look at all the whose who when we are famous, well known, and part of societies elite. When we must look for some people when they are fast, not in plain sight, hidden and in places you wouldn't normally look them to be. When we look into our past and see the look of great love and happiness one brings when some people we only have looks for. When we see why we must bring those who look from the outside to inside when there is much more to see. When looking from the outside in we still are not able to look at what we dont see or know. When we make everything look great and presentable. When we must look the part as we looked to others whom we met when theatrics and spectacles is what makes people look at us in awe. When we dont need to look with eyes when our hearts would do when moments in time so honest was promising, were closed now opened. When we look how we look with others and see that we are in love but cant help but get wrapped up in rich material world we choose. When we look at others in diffĂ (C)rent lights when we get to see them our views change and others remain the same. When we look at a time where we hate how we looked to change it all and give ourselves a look that is much more respectable and well suited. When we still look from on far when dishonesty still cant bring us closer. When we do enjoy looking at those enjoy our life as we do who are closed to us then others we meet. When we got a chance to look at everyone we meet to know the 'whose who' to know others belong and others dont belong. When the way we look we cover who we once were. When looking at who doesnt belong we look at ourselves when we need to be dirty and be so low to make it on top. When others we look at we can't see when their look is aweful when they are no good inside. When we see we can naturally be swept to views where we are looking from the outside in when others find what they are looking for and we are still looking for something more. When we know that some looks dont last when reality sinks in and time is wasting. When everything there is good to look at must come to an end when we must undress remove all the makeup and decor we ravel to unravel back to who we really are. When some looks we give are only existent when we mix both our material and heart worth together to make others look back at us. When we look up into the stars and see we cant compare to such marvels but just be a fake replica to whats real in the sky. When we see we can look from on high and low to know what we want when we are sick of looking at what surrounds us that we wish we could escape it all but cant when it makes us. When somethings we look at make us nervous and others calm our nerves when we are sight for soar eyes and others we cant stand to see. When somethings we see we look at when progress makes things come and go when they are no match for change. When what we cant see we must look up when some faces dont look right. When we see looking from the outside in we see our true selves come out when we cant tolerate what our true look should look like. When we cant help but get too indulged in the material world we dont look where we are going and lose sight how things are looking up in our world when we are living in others world. When some looks we see we cover when some news were looking down on others and up for some in an instant. When some lifestyles we look at from a closer view we see it is not for us when we see the other look it brings. When we see the ugly side to us when no one is looking. When we have others looking out for us when it counts and dont count to know friendship is much richer to have then wealth. When we dont know how we look to others or God for what we have done. When looks do matter when it gets us what we want and dont want. When some looks were meant for others to see from far to be attracted and find their way back to us. When sometimes it only matters whose look you rather have in the end that matters to us the most. When all we care about is how we look at the end of the day and continue on living those life when we cant look at ourselves as we once were and go back to fabricate even further. When we cant help but look up to those who achieve what they look for to inspire us when once we look forward there is no looking back to what is coming for us. When we all wish to find those who look at us with such a brighr light to make us go even further we dont look at what is in front of us when we dont always find good looking people that look like the way they do. When some looks were meant to fade away to only immortalize what we could only imagine a great looking man named Gatsby.
SCOTT: (Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond) Greg, I read the book decades ago and couldn t remember much about it. So I went into Gatsby with fairly fresh eyes.
GREG: I actually read the book in anticipation of the movie and I was pleasantly surprised. The movie, like the book, is told in first person narrative from the point of view of Nick Carroway (Tobey Maguire), a newcomer to New York City. He is taking up stock brokerage as a profession after returning from the war. He calls upon his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan) who is married to Tom Buchanon (Joel Edgerton). It is clear from his visit that Tom is having an affair.
SCOTT: It turns out that Carraway lives next door to a wealthy bachelor named Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who hosts a seemingly endless series of incredibly lavish parties to which anyone is invited. Carraway is intrigued by the mysterious Gatsby, about whom rumors have been flying. When Gatsby learns that Carraway is related to Daisy, he asks Carraway to arrange for her to meet Gatsby for tea.
GREG: Gatsby and Daisy enter into an affair that is the subject of the rest of the film. For those who ve read the book, no further recap is necessary. And for those who have not, we won t spoil it for you. What separates this version of Gatsby from other attempts at a motion picture rendition of the story is the amazing visual effects. The presentation is so surreal and brilliant that it borders on cartoon. I saw the film in 3D and it was like the characters were cutouts against a diorama backdrop. But as the film became more involved, and the plot more complex, the cartoon-like nature of the film fell away to more subdued colors and harsher tones.
SCOTT: Yes, I noticed that change in tone, too. It was like The Wizard of Oz in reverse, with the universe changing from light, playful, and fluffy to dark and foreboding. The first half of the film delivers delicious style and pizazz. Never has vice been so beautiful. There is eye-popping opulence everywhere you look. Then things get serious in the second half, which is not unexpected given the set-up of the love triangle combined with some liver-busting alcohol consumption.
GREG: Gatsby is an interesting hero full of contradictions. He hides in the shadows, but has opulent parties. He is a self-made man, yet is never accepted by the rich and famous. The source of his wealth is hidden. He associates with the seedier side of New York s nouveau riche. He engages in an adulterous affair, yet we find he is the most faithful of all the characters in the story.
SCOTT: Youre right, he s a complex man. I d call him a tragic hero in that he has good intentions and honorably makes a self-sacrifice at the end that he didn t have to make. He is also man of great (and naive) hopefulness. And as befitting a tragic hero, he has plenty of flaws, not the least of which is his choice of business associations. I wasn t sure whether to like him or not until the very end, when he performs a noble act of redemption.
GREG: The people around Gatsby are supposed to be the cream of high society. They look down on people who do not come from old (legitimate) money, but in the end are emotionally and morally bankrupt. Daisy in particular turns out to be the greatest disappointment. Gatsby both built everything for her and gives up everything for her and she ultimately disowns him. This is the greatest reward for this version of Gatsby: the visuals draw us into the early part of the story. But it s the unfolding of Gatsby s demise that seals the deal. This is a great film drawn from a great American novel. There is little that was left out and the themes and symbolism are left intact.
SCOTT: Greg, I was impressed with the film s lavish visuals, intriguing characters, and messages about the ability of wealth to corrupt and destroy human souls. Gatsby s tragically heroic journey doesn t quite fit Joseph Campbell s model -- we dont witness crossovers into special worlds, nor are there mentor figures or father figures, unless you count the old man who gave him the phrase old sport . The movie glosses over his dealings with the mob, and this omission limits the dimensionality of his character. But Gatsby is nevertheless an effective character because we are fascinated by his self-destructive path, and we also admire his passion for Daisy, however misguided it may be. I give the movie 4 Reels out of 5 for its outstanding cinematography and far-reaching social commentary. I give Gatsby just 3 Heroes out of 5 because the movie omits crucial details of his dark alter-ego, and his story just seemed to be lacking too many elements of the classic hero journey to earn a higher rating. With those added pieces his character would have enjoyed greater richness and depth. Movie: Hero:
GREG: I ve read criticisms that say the 3D rendering and visuals detracted from the story. I feel differently. I think writer/director Baz Luhrmann created as lavish a spectacle as Jay Gatsbys own parties and effectively pulled back on the effects as the story deepened. This is a retelling of the original using the storytelling sensibilities of a modern time. And still, the impact of the original story is intact. Gatsby, for me, is a truly tragic hero - as tragic as Romeo. While he doesn t prefectly fit the mythic hero s journey, this is a welcome diversion from the norm. For a well-told story cast in the leading of modern media, I give The Great Gatsby 4 out of 5 Reels. But unlike you, Scott, I felt Gatsby was a powerful hero, as strong as any in recent memory. He extols the virtue of true love and delivers a message of how a man with passion can build himself into anything he wants to, and how he can lose all of it when he succumbs to the darker side of those passions. I give Gatsby a full 5 out of 5 Heroes. Movie: Hero:
this was the intention of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, I cannot get into the characters at all. Granted, after the film had ended, I did feel for the character of Gatsby due to events that I will not spoil, but every other character is so incredibly vapid and shallow that I cannot seem to get into it. The character of Daisy was especially maddening to me. Still, if you like the book (for whatever reason), you'll probably enjoy this film as well, as I'm sure it's fairly accurate to the source material, but it does feel style-over-substance at times. Then there's the Jay-Z music... like, what?
Furthermore, the film appears to try to create a 'flow' in which scenes seamlessly connect to create a smooth experience, however, this does not work. The scenes seem rushed and therefore, as an audience, we cannot connect to the characters (you could argue that perhaps this was done to exemplify the 'superficial' nature of the time). Scenes simply come and go and the audience, in my opinion, cannot respect the themes behind the source material.
My final verdict is that Baz Luhrmann simply could not adapt the 'great American novel' to the big screen; not in the sense of a poorly structured narrative, but in the fact that some poor choices in music and editing led to this poor adaption.