I know many of you will have been to see the latest incarnation of Gatsby, and I’ve been interested to see the polarising opinions across my friends. As for my impressions, well….
First of all let me qualify this by saying that all art is subjective and I believe you should make up your own mind about this one. I’d decided to leave my memories of the book at the door and attempt to take this as a stand-alone film. I’d loved Baz’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliette, and after all the hype I had high hope for the costuming.
This version of The Great Gatsby was like watching someone try to thread a needle with a freight train. A beautiful, glittering, lavish freight train however. I really fought with this film, I so wanted to fall in love with it. There is a delicate beauty in this story that gets trampled by the over the top Luhrmann hand. Visually, it feels as though it has been given the comic book treatment. Unrelentingly fast, flashy and jarring, making it hard for the party scenes to stand out in their own right.
On the fashion front, don’t go expecting a BBC costuming experience. The re-imagining of 20’s fashions is incredibly beautiful, but one to view as a work of art and not an historical narrative. It will however, fill that never ending need we have for inspiration and new ideas of glamour. What does thrill me about this is the potential run on effect the film will have, and is having on fashion. Perhaps this visual decadence is just the kick in the pants the girl of 2013 needs to step up her game.
Leonardo DeCaprio as Gatsby is poignant, not simply as the character but in the story of himself. Seeing how the fresh boy from Titanic has grown into the man we now see, is infinitely satisfying. It took me a while to warm to his portrayal, but the moment he connects with you, the response is physical; I felt my heart ache. There are moments where you plummet into his world at a simple crease at his eyes, only to be rudely thrown back again. And this is why I found the whole experience paradoxical.
Whatever you’ve heard about this film, whether you have read the book or not, I urge you to make up your own mind. What you’ll discover in this film will be directly coloured by your own life experiences. You may be able to strip away the window dressing to get to the heart of it, or you may simply enjoy the sparkles.
As a vintage stylist and personal romantic, I remain at odds with this version of The Great Gatsby, but I’d love to know what you think of it. This may be the biggest bonus of the film for me; the opportunity to exchange ideas with you all and perhaps see this from a perspective I haven’t before.
So, just how Great was Gatsby for you?