It’s a continual habit of literary snobs, myself included, to see an IMDB headline, gasp, and exclaim “they’re making that into a movie?” This is usually followed by a promise to boycott said movie. Last week, when Baz Luhrman (Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge) announced that he was going to direct the new Great Gatsby movie in 3D, it was hard to go around campus, or more specifically Tisch, without hearing “what are they thinking” rants. First of all, there is no way Hollywood wasn’t going to remake Gatsby. It’s not some high concept literary novel that wouldn’t make any sense as a movie — it’s a book that we’ve all read that has a compelling and visual story. It’s like the Harry Potter of intellectual literature. I know we’ve all been waiting for the Great Gatsby adaptation set at NYU, but we’re stuck with this one. Here are some ways to quiet your fears, and maybe make you a little excited… maybe.
- Baz Luhrman might be crazy stylized and not exactly the most subtle director in the world, but his romantic, exaggerated outlook kind of fits with the novel. It’s not as if he took Romeo and Juliet and ruined it for all eternity. If anything, he interpreted the play in a refreshing way that made 90 minutes of Shakespeare verse exhilarating. The Great Gatsby will always be a classic and couldn’t possibly be tainted by a bad adaptation.
- The cast so far seems perfect. Leo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go, An Education) as Daisy, and Toby McGuire as Nick seems like a perfect equation for some East Egg VS. West Egg action. We should all be relieved that they didn’t cast Kristen Stewart. Seriously, why is she in On the Road? That makes no sense. Kerouac is probably rolling in his grave. See, I do have some integrity.
- It’s not actually set in Australia just because it’s being filmed there. It’s not a sequel to his flop Australia. He’s recreating 1920s New York using the miraculous magic of movies. And he’s saving Australia’s film industry. He is from there, after all.
- 3D could be an artistic choice, not just box office bonus. The novel is all about the excesses and extravagances of the 1920s, so it actually kind of makes sense to use the over-indulgent 3D. If it’s just a marketing ploy, then I apologize, and you can always go see it in 2D.
- Between this and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, there will be a never-ending supply of Roaring 20s parties. Not that dorm rooms aren’t pseudo-speakeasies already, but this will give you an excuse to drink alcohol out of barrels and wear flapper dresses. Can’t argue with that logic.
Or, at the very least: think of your high school self. We can all agree the 70s version we watched in 10th grade was boring, right?
Also, just because we wan’t to distract you from studying for your midterms: start playing this Gatsby video game!