Saturday, 1 June 2013

$105,000,000 to make a critique of excess?

Usually when they make a film out of a book I really like, I tend to develop an immediate distrust and avoid it if I can, mainly because they always find a way to ruin it some how (has anyone seen the completely stupid way Oliver Parker ended Wilde's immense "The Picture of Dorian Gray"? I was angry for days after I saw that). But for some reason, I thought maybe Baz Lurhman's interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" might be different. Maybe he would be the perfect guy to portray the opulence of 1920's Long Island set, the flappers and the prohibition. Anyone that has seen the beguiling if slightly nauseating parade that is "Moulin Rouge" will know that Lurhman is no stranger to massive sets, sequins and exaggerating. Sometimes, this exaggerating is good in films. Hedonism is, in the ancient Greek sense of the word, a valid path to enlightenment. The ecstasy of excess can be a fascinating fall to watch, when viewed as an observer. "The Great Gatsby" however falls short of that though. For a film that is meant to be criticising the irresponsible lifestyle of wealthy people, this film is all about the looks and the amount of money that can be spent and made off of it. The film cost over one-hundred million to make. American clothier Brookes Brothers released a Gatsby Collection. Tiffany's designed a Gatsby collection of jewellery, including a platinum ring with a 5.25 diamond, retailing at $875,000. Harrods in London displayed a Great Gatsby window display to lure customers into one of the most expensive shops in the world. The film was produced by Jay-Z, who also did the hip-hop soundtrack, and he has an estimated personal wealth of over $500 million. It slightly reeks of contradiction to me. But I don't think this film was made to display the subtleness and heartbreak of the book. This film is made to make money. For a film that is designed to bemoan the mask that money provides you, I doesn't make a secret of encouraging you to indulge in it. I knew I shouldn't of trusted them to make a good version of the book. Get yourself a paperback copy, a gin gimlet, and indulge yourself that way people.

Check out our podcast review for The Great Gatsby on iTunes, where you can also subscribe and leave us a rating, or you can also find us on the links on the right.

Give our Let's a Play videos a look on YouTube too, where me and Richee try I scare ourselves in Fallout New Vegas, Dead Space 3 and The Walking Dead. Link on the right too.

Thanks!

Layla

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