Gatsby? What Gatsby?

Words uttered by Mia Farrow, Carey Mulligan and me when my friend asked me what I thought of the book after I had read it (after these three words, he knew I loved it!)

Recently I’ve noticed my obsession with materialistic things and expensive things. By recently I mean the last year and a half or so. Whenever we pass a car showroom an my dad asks me which one i like I always go for the most expensive ones. One of my favourite things is going into Brown Thomas and looking at what I know are ridiculously overpriced pieces of fabric stitched together to make items of clothing or accessories and thinking to myself ‘with Christmas and my birthday I will treat myself to something so decadent from there.’ So it might not surprise people that one of the reasons that I’m excited for THE GREAT GATSBY is because, if, the times it’s set in, the trailer and Baz Luhrmann‘s precious work, MOULIN ROUGE, are anything to go by, this will be so decadent and luxurious and hedonistic maybe not to the extent of Oscar Wilde’s DORIAN GRAY but it will be enough.

My overall verdict of the movies: the 2013 movie was great but I’m still trying to get through the 1974 version 😦 .

I shocked my housemate one evening when I told her that I had JUST read THE GREAT GATSBY for the first time. She shocked me by telling me that it was required reading in schools in America. Why is this a shock to me? Because if I had told any of my secondary school friends that I was reading Hemmingway or Fitzgerald, some would ask me why while others would have asked me, “Hemming-who!?”

The first time I came across THE GREAT GATSBY was when I saw a still of Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchannan from the 1974 movie in a magazine. I can safely say that, after three attempts at watching this one, thought, I can’t say that I’m very into it. (The 1974 version has Mia Farrow and Lois Chiles who both starred together in DEATH ON THE NILE). I truly want to like the 1974 version and perhaps my failed attempts are simply due to tiredness but I think that it all comes down to taste: my sister hated Baz Luhrmann’s version while I loved it.  The Decadence, the hedonism, the fashion, the soundtrack… as much as I love old movies and usually shun remakes, Baz Luhrmann’s version really hit the spot for me and where I am in terms of my personality.

Baz Luhrmann uses the same head wrecking techniques that he used in some of his other movies like Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet and I think his Gatsby was a valiant attempt at the “unfilmmable” novel. there is a great scene where Nick is driving into NYC and he passes a car with a black couple who are chaffered by a white man. It is an excellent turnaround of races. At first I was sceptical of Leonardo Di Caprio as Gatsby but I think he gave a great performance as did Carry Mulligan who portrayed daisy (and who played Sally sparrow in Doctor Who Season 3 Blink) She was childish and just didn’t really care about anyone else when push came to shove. She really conveyed Daisy’s confusion and pain.

Just one issue that I had with this movie: People kept laughing at really inappropriate times but that’s a whole other story!


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