The Great Gatsby: The Great Yawnfest

Once again, I have to apologize for being absent. I am the worst blog partner ever. I’ve been in a rut and when I’m in a rut I swing between two extremes: either become incredibly productive and throw myself into work or throw myself into watching Grey’s Anatomy re-runs. Unfortunately, for this rut, I chose Grey’s Anatomy. Oh well, I could choose heroin or something, but I DON’T! See? It’s only obsessive TV watching, not drugs, therefore it’s OK. Do you see the destructive path of laziness my brain takes me down? It’s horrible. I’m sad because I don’t have a job yet and it just hit me that I’m not in England anymore having the time of my life. Cue the heartbreaking violin as I cry myself to sleep. 

Going on with Ahn’s theme, I am also procrastinating from working on a paper. Why am I writing a paper on summer break? God only knows. 5,000 words on China’s role in the degradation of the global environment. Someone please put me out of my misery. I hate writing about the environment, it’s incredibly depressing.

It’s not really as bad as I’m making it out to be, I’m just dramatic. I’m just a 4. 

Yesterday, I saw Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby”. Do you like my blog title? It’s adorably cliche, simple, and stupid, kind of like me on my worst days. Unfortunately, for Mr. Luhrmann, so was his adaptation of the incredible, classic, great American novel. As my friend Kate, whom I read the book with in our 11th grade English class, tweeted, the movie “was all wrong.” 

The movie certainly captured the opulence and grandeur of Gatsby’s parties, the 1920’s era, and Gatsby and Daisy’s love story, but these seem to be the most important themes for Luhrmann. F. Scott. Fitzgerald’s Gatsby is much more than a love story. It’s a great and oftentimes, complicated, social commentary on the contrasting attitudes and moral beliefs of the East and West, and a social commentary on the 1920s in general and the “Godlessness” that surrounded the era. As many film reviewers remarked, including The Independent, Luhrmann’s Gatsby had “energy, but not subtlety; dazzle, but not depth.” Luhrmann only scratched the surface with Gatsby and failed to understand the great commentary Fitzgerald was making. Luhrmann painstakingly and a little too obviously put in quotes from the book, but where was THIS:

“That’s my Middle West — not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth, and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow. I am part of that, a little solemn with the feel of those long winters, a little complacent from growing up in the Carraway house in a city where dwellings are still called through decades by a family’s name. I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all — Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.”

This is what Luhrmann failed to capture in his movie, and in my opinion, is one of the best parts of the book. I mean, really, WHERE WAS THIS? There was no semblance of this theme in his movie and it is a CRIME, I tell you, a total crime, because “The Great Gatsby” is a tremendous example of an American novel. 

Daisy was far too likable. I mean, really, the woman was supposed to be a total idiot and horrible woman, but I found myself feeling kind of…sorry…for her? Why? She’s not supposed to be likable at all, she’s supposed to be LOATHED, like you know that girl in high school that always dressed nicer than you and got better grades than you and bragged about it all the time? You’re supposed to hate Daisy twenty times more than you ever disliked that girl, who probably wasn’t that bad to being with. Also, where was the powerful scene with Daisy’s daughter? Gatsby’s realization of Daisy’s daughter is such an important part, how could Luhrmann even consider cutting it out, especially when the movie was far too long because it was filled with other COMPLETELY USELESS SCENES. 

One more thing, while I enjoy the musical stylings of Jay-Z (but NOT Lana del Rey because she is way over-rated and has just about the WORST stage presence I have ever seen in my life, and I’ve seen one too many high school musical productions where the actors are in 9th grade and peeing in their pants on stage) Luhrmann really missed out on a great opportunity to take advantage of the greatness that is jazz music. We can all argue that jazz created hip-hop, rock ‘n roll, and pop music, so Luhrmann did technically use jazz music by definition, but if Luhrmann really was so thirsty to catch the hey-day of the times, then why not take advantage of the music? There was one measly jazz solo in the movie. What gives, Luhrmann?! The Harlem Renaissance and Duke Ellington not good enough for ya?! The soundtrack could have been AMAZING and he totally could have given it a contemporary flare. Instead, it’s something I can easily hear on the radio on an ol’ day. What a waste and a bore.

In general, the movie bored me. Luhrmann embraced what Fitzgerald was trying fight, which was the glorification of material possessions and high society without any real depth or meaning in one’s life, which is a total shame. 

Also, Robert Redford forever, 





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