Wednesday, June 05, 2013
After The Great Gatsby
I enjoyed this movie. I certainly didn’t not enjoy it.
I don’t have a list of very specific criteria by which I evaluate movies. (Maybe that’s a Myers Briggs extreme “N” thing. I know whether or not I like visual things, based on my overall intuitive sense of it, but drilling down into the details or any kind of sensory specifics of why that is I find more difficult.) But, here is one of my broad points of judgment. Usually I am one of the biggest cry babies in a theatre, who is not difficult to move, and yet, despite the tragedy of this story, I shed not one tear. I have been trying to understand why this is. I don’t know whether it was Baz Luhrmann, or the story itself (I’m suspecting Baz), but, for one example, the scenes of the 1920s parties in Gatsby’s house are so bedazzling, and so supersaturated with extravagance, that I think the only way I can explain it is to say that for me they veered so close to the line of being make-believe that they left me at a distance. I wasn’t drawn IN, I was left sitting in my chair watching from the picture theatre.
And I think that is essentially how I would describe my response to this movie. I watched it, and I enjoyed, but it didn’t involve me in it.
It is a magnificent spectacle, to the point that several times digital enhancements seemed obvious. (And I realised later that much of the strangeness of it was perhaps owing to the fact that there is a 3D option: features such as the swooping aerial photography and the cartoon-esque car-driving scenes.) If you like glitz and glamour, glitz and glamour in manifold excesses, this movie is for you. On that point it probably needs to be seen to be believed.
But if you like pathos, perhaps this movie isn’t for you. For me the only vehicle of any kind of pathos in the film was Nick Carraway, the narrator. If tragedy had come to him a few tears might have fallen.
I’m giving it 7/10. And now I might read a few reviews and think about whether or not I want to read the book.