First. This post is 100% spoiler free.
That said – I will address the fact that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby is depressing and tragic as shit. If that just spoiled you, then I’m assuming you haven’t read the book, but I assure you – this post still won’t spoil anything.
Second, I typically like to go see a movie at least twice before I review it on the blog; however, with all of the bad reviews Gatsby has been getting in the past twenty four hours, I thought that instead of going to see it again tonight – I’d buy a bottle of wine, finish up my “garden centering shrubbery” -> (words I just made up on the fly to describe the act of looking for shrubs/plants for my patio) and do what cool people do on a Friday night.
Sit home and blog over a bottle of wine about all the reasons you shouldn’t listen to the Gatsby reviews.
basically my night. welcome to the no pants party.
As you may already know if you read my Gatsby post Thursday, I have been waiting a LONG time for Gatsby. And quite honestly, I think I was the most nervous I’ve ever been for a movie, simply because the build up has been huge.
And, I won’t lie – because the reviews this week have been anything but favorable.
I’m here to tell you – f@$k the reviews. If you love the book, are a fan of Baz Lhurman, love Carey or Leo, and just appreciate cinematic perfection at its best – you need to see this movie.
1. The Complaint – “It’s too flashy and over the top”
Hi. You haven’t partied until you’ve partied with Gatsby.
To say that The Great Gatsby is too flashy or too over the top is like saying New York City is made of too much concrete or that summer is too hot. Shitty examples, maybe – there’s wine involved people. But really, these things just are the way they are. And that’s why we love them.
The parties in Gatsby were everything I wanted them to be and then some. They were over the top. They were reminiscent of some of Baz’s greatest musical, dance sequences in previous films like Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge. You felt like you were (in part thanks to the 3D aspect, more on that later) at the party.
Plus. I’m a sucker for any party with fireworks.
If by flashy, you were referring to Daisy Buchanan’s diamond bling throughout the film – haters gonna hate. Her rock on her finger deserved a shout out in the credits alone and Tiffany & Co. did a perfect job at ensuring the movie had just enough sparkle.
So to anyone arguing that the movie was too flashy – maybe you should get out more.
2. The Complaint – “the movie isn’t faithful to the Jazz Age”
One of the biggest issues most critics seem to be having with Gatsby is its soundtrack and score – created and scored by Mr. Beyonce – Jay-Z. And yes – I will admit, at first, it does seem a tad off to hear hip-hop in the roaring twenties. But you know what? It damn well works.
The soundtrack was quite honestly, one of my favorite parts of the movie. I have this thing, where I tend to download soundtracks before I see the movie, fall in love with certain songs and loathe others. Then, when I go see the movie, there’s this excitement/anxiety over the placement of the songs in the movie. Will it live up to my expectations? Sometimes it does. Other times, favorites I’ve pictured so perfectly to pivotal moments in the movie – end up in the credits.
For Gatsby – I was madly in love with all of the soundtrack but had a certain obsession with two songs in particular, “Together” by the XX and “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey. Not only were these songs instrumental choruses played throughout the movie in all of the right places – their placements in some of the most epic scenes in the movie, invoked not only tears in one instance, see below – they just illicit all the right shivers, in all the right places, at all the right times.
honest tears behind 3D glasses in this scene.
3. The Complaint – “They didn’t have 3D in the 1920’s”
One. Ok then, go see it in 2D. You’ll even save money on the ticket price.
4. The complaint – “Leo and Carey’s chemistry is barely detectable”
First of all. Your argument is invalid.
Second, I’m really trying hard to understand this from the POV of someone who doesn’t think Leo and Carey are two ridiculously attractive people they could watch necking all night long.
As I mentioned above, in the scene where Gatsby and Daisy see each other for the first time in five years for tea at Nick’s cottage, I essentially lost my shit. I did not expect to start crying at that scene at all. And really, the comedic humor leading up to Daisy’s arrival was one of my favorite comedic relief moments in the movie.
But one shot of these two starring at each other. Followed by the hand graze of the century. I was done for.
By the time these two were getting their freak on – I was a lost cause.
To say that Carey and Leo didn’t have chemistry?
No. My only complaint in that respect was, that we didn’t get enough Gatsby and Daisy time in the movie.
Yes I wish you had too. And that it was all in this movie.
I also wish there was more of the “how to take a selfie in 1920” scene.
5. The complaint – “the first half of the movie is more fun than the second half”
FAKE SPOILER ALERT. But not really because I told you the spoiler above – this book/movie is REALLY DEPRESSING.
It does not have a happy ending.
Leo CRIES. There is YELLING. You have been WARNED.
So yes. The second half of the movie, is not all rainbow, sunshine, and awesome Gatsby parties. It’s quite depressing and dark. And that was the book. Which, I have to say, Baz Lhurman did a phenomenal job of paying tribute to. If anything, someone who has read the book and watched this movie, must give him credit for that. Because he did it brilliantly.
Additional thoughts? Leo was the perfect Gatsby – whether it’s his Oscar worthy role is debatable but at the very least, this was one of the roles of his career. Jack Dawson, who? Carey portrayed Daisy beautifully. Even if we all wanted to bitch-slap her in a scene or two. Tobey Maguire was Tobey Maguire- perfectly sweet. Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan was actually kinda sexy. And I’m not just saying that because I was creeping him from two feet away last week. Lastly, newcomer Elizabeth Debicki was excellent as Jordan Baker. I can’t wait to see what’s next for her.
In a nutshell, I absolutely loved this movie. But that was a given. I knew that before I saw the movie. But I can grasp why some of the critics hate it. I just don’t think that should stop a normal movie-goer from experiencing this movie. Especially in 3D. I normally hate 3D but I loved it in Gatsby’s respect.
Go see Gatsby. It’s really as simple as that, old sport.
x C x