Gatsby's soundtrack is set to be just as well played I think. From it's brooding melodies like Lana Del Rey's 'Young and Beautiful' and Jack White's U2 cover 'Love is Blindness', to it's oddly placed yet somehow acceptable hip-hop from JAY-Z and Will.i.am. Now I am not big on Hip-Hip or rap for that matter. Not at all really. There's some slightly rappy stuff I can allow. But not much. So when it made a feature in a film set in the 1920s, I was a little unsure of it. But I have to say it did work. Mostly. It was mixed in carefully and cunningly and at the right moments. However, I couldn't help thinking that it would have been even cooler if the Hip-Hop songs had been re-made in the 1920's style, instead of mixed in there as is. I always think that with a period drama, a huge part of what takes you there is the music and when that's not quite right, the story can lose it relevance. This is what Director Baz Luhrman had to say about the films music:
"F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is peppered with contemporary music references specific to the story’s setting of 1922. While we acknowledge, as Fitzgerald phrased it, ‘the Jazz Age,’ and this is the period represented on screen, we—our audience—are living in the ‘hip-hop age’ and want our viewers to feel the impact of modern-day music the way Fitzgerald did for the readers of his novel at the time of its publication."
I don't know if I would say we are living in the 'hip-hop age' though. Maybe I'm just getting old.
Anyway, enough about the music. What about the film?
Now I must confess to something terrible. I have not read the book! I know! A Crime! But my partner has and he loved it! He told me the whole story as he read it (don't worry I said he could) even reading parts to me aloud as I fed our son, so I kinda feel like I have read it. And I must say that film is a pretty close adaptation of the book. However, Lover-Man did say that he didn't think that Tobey Maguire did that character Nick any justice. He didn't think he was quite right. And in all honesty all I think when I see Tobey Maguire in anything these days is "Hey what's Peter Parker doing in this film!?" He always seems to play the same character.
Gatsby was a beautifully shot film. Very pretty. The extravagance was gorgeous. Though there were a few things I felt were lost somewhere. The concept of the story is to do with class issues. With fame and false friendships, it's about how you can be 'IT' one minute but then as soon as you are out of favour, you're done.
It was a time before Twitter and before Facebook. People relied on good old fashioned gossip. Gossip could make you and gossip could break you. If the gossip was in your favour, it could build you up to a celebrity, but the minute it turns sour the masses don't want to know you. A tid-bit of shadiness in your past, questioning your upper-class lineage and then God forbid an outburst of rage in public. All of these things could spell the end of your reign of fame in a flash. Or even the end of what you thought was true love. To me this is what The Great Gatsby was about. I'm not sure if this hit home clearly enough for my liking. I felt the crux of the story was lost somewhere amongst the 'Modern Jazz' champagne and fancy clothes. But perhaps, that in itself was the moral of the story all along.
Good film. But I would have done it differently. Still worth seeing though. Carey Mulligan is brilliant.