The Great Gatsby

After seeing the above photo and reading James Franco’s thoughts on Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gastby” I began to wonder why Mr. Franco wasn’t cast in the film.
This is really off topic from where I wanted to start this post, but I will go ahead and say Franco would have made a very interesting Nick Carraway opposite Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jay Gatsby.
Franco, a writer and actor with a diverse film resume, could have pulled off the depth of Carraway’s character.
Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of the great American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald already seems to be a love it or hate it film so it is unlikely that Franco as Gatsby’s neighbor and, ultimately, best friend, would create any more of a divide between critics and audiences.
My personal preferences aside, Tobey Maguire did fit the bill of Carraway’s character quite well.
Carraway is introduced right away, but the narrative to connect him with Gatsby is a slow burn.
Luhrmann’s use of glitter, green, and glam are enough of a distraction until Gatsby’s delayed appearance.
Carraway speaks the narrative from a perspective slightly different than the novel. I actually didn’t notice that until listening to Slate’s Spoiler Special about the film. That review, and others I’ve listened to so far, did not criticize Luhrmann for his choice.
The script, co-written by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce, stays true to the rest of the story.
The visualization of it is to reach a new audience. I just hope they read the novel to see Luhrmann’s inspiration.

Leonardo DiCaprio is an obvious inspiration for the director too. Did I mention he is FANTASTIC as Gatsby? Just checking.
Luhrmann builds the anticipation for the viewer, through Carraway’s eyes, to meet Gatsby for the first time as one of many luxurious parties rocks on at his mansion off Long Island.
Then you’re soon reminded it’s all for his lost love Daisy (Carey Mulligan) who lives across the bay with her husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton).
I noticed similarities to Luhrmann’s “Romeo and Juliet” in some of Gatsby and Daisy’s interactions and in the visuals he used to connect the characters.
There is tragedy and darkness in both romances, but a feeling of just a little bit more hope from Jay Gatsby.
In fact, Carraway describes Gatsby as the most “hopeful” men he’s ever met.
That hope held on until the end of the film and the life of Gatsby’s character.
Luhrmann’s “The Great Gastby” is very over the top at times, but it’s worth it to see the life it brings to a classic story.
That’s all, old sport.


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