Top 5 Reasons Not To Bother Seeing “The Great Gatsby”.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

5. Because it’s a Baz Luhrmann film. And Luhrmann doesn’t make films, he makes music videos. And they have a lan­guage all of their own.

With just three or four min­utes to get your sto­ry across, you need to paint your char­ac­ters in big bold pri­ma­ry colours and in over­sized emo­tions. And every­thing has to be in short hand and reduced to its bare min­i­mum, so that all of the sto­ry points can be under­stood, imme­di­ate­ly. No shot ever lingers for more than a sec­ond and a half before it’s ruth­less- and rest­less­ly cut, and the next is busi­ly inserted.

It’s breath­less and, occa­sion­al­ly, exhil­a­rat­ing. But hav­ing to watch 90 min­utes – or more — of all that is like being asked to read a nov­el in text speak. It gets weary­ing, very, very quickly.

4. Because, as the old Hol­ly­wood adage goes, the best books make the worst films and vice ver­sa. And Gats­by, some­what sur­pris­ing­ly, hasn’t aged a day. It’s majestic.

3. Because, and not with­stand­ing the above, the 1974 ver­sion is actu­al­ly pret­ty good. Penned by Fran­cis Ford Cop­po­la, it’s a tad rev­er­en­tial and tip­toes ten­ta­tive­ly around its source. But what saves it is its cast­ing. Robert Red­ford is perfect.

Every­thing that makes him so sus­pect as a per­former ren­ders him ide­al for Fitzgerald’s neb­u­lous, opaque anti-hero. And all of the con­flict­ing emo­tions you expe­ri­ence when watch­ing him are trans­ferred on to the fig­ure of Gatsby.

Robert Redford as Gatsby

Robert Red­ford as Gatsby

Red­ford is porn per­son­i­fied. You know that it’s all show, that there’s noth­ing there, there. Beneath the sur­face, or beyond that facade. That when­ev­er any­one tries that hard to make it look nat­ur­al, all you ever notice is all of that effort. And that there’s some­thing faint­ly ridicu­lous about any­one that fix­at­ed with and hap­py about how they look.

And yet, you can’t take your eyes off of him. Which means, obvi­ous­ly, that you’re every bit as shal­low as he is.

Until even­tu­al­ly, in a vain effort to jus­ti­fy your attrac­tion, you find your­self ask­ing, what if? What if there’s noth­ing wrong with mere sur­face? What if that’s all there is?

All of which of course is exact­ly what the nov­el is about.

2. Because it’s in 3D. Which is so five min­utes ago dot com.

1. One word; Aus­tralia.

One more rea­son? Very well, here’s the trailer.

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