I concede, I'm the wrong person to be reviewing this film. I'm the chick who devours the novel on a semi-regular basis, quotes Fitzgerald at any given opportunity, and always endeavours to party with the same reckless abandon as one of Jay Gatsby's degenerate guests. I also refuse to watch New Girl because I can't stand how colourful it is. But I really wanted to like this film, and assumed I would love it. I'm an enormous fan of incongruity, disjuncture and juxtaposition in film, and with Baz Luhrmann at the helm, I believed he would successfully combine contemporary culture -both musically and visually- with the chaos of the Jazz Age and create an unforgettable, intense, gritty and moving piece of cinema.
Instead, to quote Bret Easton Ellis, the whole film seemed like “some kind of ghastly Illuminati prank”. Within the first minute I was disappointed and enraged, because -despite seeing the film in good ol' two dimensions- it had clearly been filmed with a 3D audience in mind. Visual tricks were used at entirely unnecessary points, and where there was potential for great theatricality at Gatsby's infamous parties, the set just felt cluttered and overwhelmingly contrived.
As an alternative to watching the film and sitting through too many depressingly overstated visual and narrative effects, and those long-angled shots which make you feel like you're playing a video game -specifically The Sims 3- , just listen to the soundtrack and watch the trailers. The most visually impressive and tense moments in the film are all contained in its previews, and the soundtrack is flawless. All credit to Jay-Z, because that shit truly is cray.
Certainly not a green light from yours truly to The Not-So-Great Gatsby.