Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

The Great Gatsby

gatsby3There have been many adaptations and interpretations of this F. Scott Fitzgerald novel over the years. Watching the latest incarnation you’ve got to hand it to them, DiCaprio gives good tortured and beautiful while Maguire is the penultimate foil of vulnerable nobility.

The movie, like others before it and the novel itself are both a treat for, as well as, an assault on the senses. You’re slapped back into the Roaring Twenties. You can feel the champagne bubbles in the back of your throat. Feel the beat of the music. Toes tingle as you want to dance. The danger. The lies. Your heart pounds as the story once again unfolds rushing toward its inexorable and appalling conclusion.

I was always drawn to, and revolted by, the character of Jay Gatsby. Lonely little boy. Handsome, charming millionaire. Criminal. Manipulator. Optimist. So out of his depth. Rich as a god without knowing the real price. Hurtled across the abyss from abject poverty to hobble lost through the lurid depths of magnificent decay. Good for the using, never belonging; that was his gift.


Anyone can be careless. We too often see people not as who they are, but as they’re presented. We don’t see past a shabby coat or a glittering dress; a dirty face or a dazzle of jewels. We see things, but not who wears them, drives them, lives in them.

Fitzgerald was making a point. The rich aren’t better, they just have better things.

Despite a few missteps, overall I thought this was an artful rendition of the novel. The voluptuously elaborate sets offered an eccentric divergence to the trugatsby4th of the story – it’s a journey to find oneself. The 1949 version was simplistic, dreary, and monotone,  yet tried valiantly. The 1974 version attempted  to capture the brilliance of Fitzgerald without much luck. Not that Robert Redford wasn’t worth the watching. Sam Waterston, Mia Farrow, and Bruce Dern gave confident  performances, but the Francis Ford Coppola script lacked framing and depth. The Luhrmann version lacks framing as well, but he knows how to throw a party.

I always felt The Great Gatsby was more about Nick than Gatsby. How he went from being  a broke and obscure, but happy and kind fellow to being a disillusioned, depressed alcoholic after surviving the drama that the rich made and staged.

It stands as a scathing indictment of the rich. In searching for something they cannot buy they fall and drag others with them, preoccupied with more, always more, each time losing what was already there.

Interesting that less than a hundred years have passed and the gap between rich and poor yawns wide revealing the rot and sorrow yet we still yearn to possess what we do not understand whether it be wealth, technology, or power.

This latest adaptation once more brings to the screen the thoughtless decadence, the gilded world of wealth and power before it crashed and rose again from the ashes, bigger, stronger, just as careless.

The movie is lovely, but from the pen of Fitzgerald drips the authentic triumph.gatsby5



Very me

11 thoughts on “The Great Gatsby

  1. I remember reading the book in high school. I suffered through it and really disliked the original movie. However, now that I am much older and saw the latest version I had a whole new take on the whole story. Maybe I was just too young to understand it all those years ago


    Yes, I heard this movie is a great one. DiCaprio is a good actor, but after saying all that, I
    haven’t seen this movie. I saw some versions of this movie, quite a while ago. But they say
    that DiCaprio does a good job.


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