When I posted the first trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," it was set for a December 2012 release and screamed Oscar-bait. A lot has changed since May. Someone at Warner Brothers said "screw that" and pushed the release back to May 2013, positioning "Gatsby" to be the first big summer blockbuster of 2013. Can you blame them? Staring Leonard P DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, and Carey Mulligan as Daisy, a film about the corrupt, shallow grandeur of the American Dream is now poised to make a assload of cash.
A second trailer for "The Great Gatsby" has arrived. For American literature geeks like myself (who live and breath and die nerdy "Great Gatsby" green light symbolism discussions over bourbon) , it might seem like an early Christmas present. In some ways, it is. But I worry about how much they'll over-exaggerate and over-aggrandize Gatsby's backstory (which F. Scott Fitzgerald was cautiously subtle about) while down-playing Nick Carraway's moral superiority as a participant-observer narrator. Gatsby being a decorated war veteran from a mysterious wealthy family is an accessory to the fact that, besides being a hopeless romantic, he's kind of a douche. There's a great moment where Carraway says, “It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.” I don't mean to be a buzzkill, but I fear there will be too much partying and not enough plebeian disgust at the lifestyles of the upper class. Because that's what the greatest novel in American literature is all about.
The decaying of the American Dream is the message of "The Great Gatsby," which is why I've never understood why rappers and the nouveau riche treat the book as gospel. No one should aspire to be these people because they're terrible, awful scumbags with a vapid lifestyle who can go ultimately go fuck themselves in the end. If you can't see past the shiny glitz and glamour of the boomin' 20s, you're missing the whole damn point.
Along with every single 11th grade English teacher in the United States, I trust Luhrmann to stay true to that. I'm sure he will. But, just in case he doesn't push that far enough, I'm fully prepared for this movie to suck. But hey, at least the flappers scenes and the Jazz Age New York City visuals a pretty cool. Because this much is true: “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world.”
I mean, just fucking look at it: