June 2013 – For those to whom the great Mr. Fitzgerald speaks, the great Mr. Luhrmann has directed a movie. The latest film version of Gatsby diverges from the original narrative, but does so brilliantly. The director takes the viewer on an intoxicating ride which is the great American tragedy, well disguised by extreme wealth and lavish parties. After all, Gatsby never expects his fall.
Luhrmann captures the Jazz Age as a dizzying departure from preceding decades, accompanied by the perfect soundtrack (by the 21st century’s answer to Jay Gatz, Jay Z). The change in narrative venue, paired with Luhrmann’s unabashed style, suggests narrator Nick Carraway needs to tell the story for his own benefit; or his own sanity. He (Carraway) can’t make sense of it all initially, “…windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher…,and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
Ultimately, the party ends, the lights go out. Our narrator is disenchanted, disgusted even, then reconciled. And the viewer is left “brooding on the old, unknown world.”