That‘s how I decided to title my post on „The Great Gatsby“ movie (I have to tell in advance that I haven‘t read the book). But really this whole movie is permeated with luxury, beauty, wealth – all these grand things and yet it tells us a story about love – simple as it is. Love that wasn‘t meant to be happy. But let‘s talk about one thing at the time.
What makes this film different that it brings us back to the 1930s, yet the film is made in quite modern way which is not typical for that era films even though they might have been made much later. Plus, hearing rap music… What has rap in common with 1930s? But this combination in a film – why not? Plus, it‘s a very theatrical movie. Usually theatricality in films annoys me, but this time it was in the right place and in the right time. Theatricality was used very tastefully. As well as some sort of cartoonic moments. They appear in this movie very carefully and in very delicate amounts.
I also loved that Gatsby‘s story is told by some other character – Nick Carraway, the story is told through Nick‘s lense, from his perspective and experience. Yet, Gatsby‘s story becomes his owns – Nick‘s story and this is very similar to John‘r and Owen‘s story from J. Irving‘s „A prayer for Owen Meanny“ (I wrote about this book in my previous post). And he talks about Gatsby with such an admiration, respect as if meeting him was the best that happened to him. John talked about Owen the same way. Gatsby showed the world to Nick. The world he hasn‘t seen. The one he didn‘t know exist and that he could be (even if in a very tiny amount) part of it.
I so enjoyed this idea of not rushing to judge people but putting efforts in seeing the best they have. This thought said in the movie could be a gold thought, something that could be quoted. And it‘s true in the perspective of this particular story because at first you get completely opposite impresion of Gatsby and Daisy (the two of them shared a history. However, their love wasn‘t meant to last) from those you gain, you learn as the story goes further.
For instance, at first I thought of Daisy as simple golden girl who lives a life without worries, enjoying all the pleassures of life. Yet, later she becomes colourless to me. In all sense. She turned out to be either a coward who‘s affraid to behave her way and use her head or she just pretended to be this way.
Gatsby also at the beginning seemed to be extravagant, arogant, wealthy man who needs so badly to show his fortune (well, actually, he threw them for Daisy) by throwing these parties (which, by the way, are awesome) at which no one knew how he looks. He is a very mysterious character. Now, later in the movie, for me, Gatsby‘s character opens up to be not that much of an extravagant, but lonely. He‘s incredibly lonely, desperately in love. Out this desperation, wish to impress Daisy he acts excentric, clumsy in a way, and a bit childish, but he sincerely did throw heaven right to her feet. However, his love sometimes reminds more like an addiction or obssession to bring back the best he had with Daisy back in the day. But you can‘t bring back the past.
I don‘t know what it was, but it was fascinating how one person – Gatsby (of course) without having any bad intentions was able to affect all these people and change their lives. What was that? Charisma? Charm? But there was something.
I have to mention this interesting way of interaction between characters. It‘s so intriguing: people have lovers, they cheat, and everybody knows (friends, family members) about it and do nothing, pretending everything is OK, yet the tension grows. This piece of element works every time. Especially, when the time comes for the secret of affair to be revealed. How to tell a husband / wife that you‘re inlove with someone else and you want to be with that person, or that you‘ve already been in other relationship for a while behind your spouse‘s back? Is there a right way to do it (all in all, affairs sooner or later become known)? Gatsby thought that the best way is to tell the truth. Yet, this wish didn‘t end for him nicely – Daisy‘s husband eliminated him from the game in the lowest way.
What shocked me, was Daisy saying right after she gave birth to baby girl that she was thankful to God and she hoped that her daughter will grow up and become stupid. I understand why she thought so, but it is still very cruel of mother to wish her child something like that in any way.
Everything that we see in this movie, all the relationships, situations looks kind of psychodelic. It‘s a chaos of everything happening all at once. And all this medling into other peoples relationship (like Nick is asked/ forced to do, like Gatsby does with Daisy‘s family, though it is quite hard and uncomfortable to be in the middle of something like keeping in secret an affair and helping it) ) makes it even more chaotic, and not very right. But hey, our lives can be really psychodelic, and it can happen quite fastly.
Movie also shows this huge division between people who lived in Long Ailend (bright and beautiful, gorgeous place with nice houses) and those who worked and lived in Valley of Ashes, an industrial dumping site (black and dirty, poor place). It‘s an enternal division between rich and poor, moral and immoral. And it proves that sometimes richiest, with good education people are the filthiest ones. However, all this idea about certain status that can be gained ONLY by birth or family is such a bullshit. Of course it is true, but it does not make a person any better and, moreover, it does not give the right to act like a jerk just because you’re richer than the rest of the people.
At the end I‘d like to say that this is a tragic love story where one phone call at end of the film could change things and we would say it ended happily. But it didn‘t. Gatsby‘s love for Daisy killed him. However, he was lucky to experience this beautiful feeling. And all those people who used and enjoyed Gatsby‘s generocity showed what they are worth without showing up to say the last goodbye. At the end everybody forgot him.