Wednesday, 8 January 2014

2014: Come On Down!

I don't often do movie reviews.  In fact, my usual patter is to gab about it to friends but I thought this time I'd do things a little differently.

I watched "The Great Gatsby" over the holidays, with a friend.  Both of us were curious and had heard great things, but hadn't yet seen it.  We left the boys to their Ten Pin Bowling, settled the kiddlies down to sleep and parked up in front of the telly to watch, sans interruptions.

Firstly, let me just say that it was a beautifully shot movie - definitely a spectacle to behold.  I liked that about it.  And I hated that about it, in equal measures.  Because when you drill right down to it, "The Great Gatsby" is a tragedy.  Love gone wrong, sour, bad.  A wasted life, a wasted love.  But because the movie was so gorgeous to look at, it really detracted from that.  I wasn't so much heartbroken at the end of it, as sad.  It could have been so much more.  It seemed to lack soul.  The visuals definitely overpowered the story itself, which was dark and deep and desperate.  The overall impression it left on me was: disappointing.

The performances were wonderful - particularly Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.  DiCaprio's lightning fast switch between the rich playboy with swagger, to the vulnerable (almost childlike) young ex-soldier waiting to meet the love of his life after five years, was brilliance.  It actually made me do a double-take.  Only certain actors would be able to pull that off.  Maguire's Nick was affable and enjoyable to watch - he made the perfect narrator.  The supporting cast did a great job. 

But for me, it's always about the story, and something tells me that Mr Fitzgerald would not have been happy with Mr Luhrmann's treatment of it.  It's a shame, it really is.  Hopefully, somewhere down the road, someone else will remake the story and bring it to life more - give it the heart it lacked in this version, because it was certainly there to begin with.  I think it somehow just got lost among the sets and the lighting and the jewellery and the costumes.  I haven't seen the Mia Farrow/Robert Redford version, but I now have a hankering to.  Must track that down and watch it, to see how it compares.

What seeing this movie did do for me though, was re-ignite that desire to read the story.  So, that's something.  No Kindle version for me though - this time I want a second-hand, hardback copy - for my bookshelf.  Because I'm a nerd like that.

Oh - and happy new year, too!  I don't do new years resolutions (never saw the point - when I want to make changes in my life, I make them - I don't wait until the beginning of January to do it).  But I have broken the habit of a lifetime this year and have vowed to have "Between Before and After" finished and published in 2014.  I expect you to hold me to it!  Well, someone has to.

Did you make any resolutions this year?  What did you think of "The Great Gatsby"?



  1. An interesting take on the movie - so beautiful it became unbelievable... And yay for your next book! All the best for that! :D

    1. Thanks Joy - I call it like I see it! I'm currently reading the book. Beautiful prose :) Thanks for the well-wishes too - fingers crossed!

  2. Haven't seen it yet but it's on my watch list to do so. My news years resolution is to finish writing. that'll be a miracle in itself. haha .. Anyway I'm looking forward to holding Absolution and soon after "Between Before and After" better make room on my bookcase :)

  3. Last post was from myself lol (Tracy)