The Great Gatsby — 3D
May 13, 2013
The Short Review: It’s like the hood ornament on the Duesenberg is coming RIGHT AT YOU!
Longer Review: Confession: I haven’t read the book. Mostly because it’s one of those books that everybody already knows what it’s about — the green light, Jazz Age excess, yadda yadda. But I want to read it and I’ll do it soon, if nothing else than to see how much text the movie lifted for that incessant, droning, never-ending voiceover in the third act.
Another confession: I mostly went for the clothes and music, because I am the person who wore a beaded flapper dress to the Hugo Awards at Worldcon in Reno. These were great. I got some Charleston. That’s all I really wanted out of the movie.
Really, I enjoyed the movie immensely through the first two acts. It was manic, energetic, full of beautiful scenery and beautiful people, with a driving pace that cohered well. It even felt relevant, in these days of 1% v. 99% and discussions of superficiality and nihilism. Now, if the move had actually had something to say about superficiality and nihilism, it would have been golden. But then we got to the third act.
Holy cow did this movie fall apart in the third act. Third acts are supposed to be culminations. They’re supposed to be frenetic. They’re supposed to be when all the pieces that have been put into play come together and the inevitable happens. Movies, even quiet and thoughtful ones, even ones about people destroying themselves through bad decisions, are supposed to get more interesting in the third act. This one, for all its manic energy and artfulness up to that point, screeched to a dead stop. I swear to God, the argument in the Plaza went on for twenty minutes, and all any of us really wanted at that point was for someone to use that damned ice pick on somebody else. It just went on, and on, and on, and on…we get Gatbsy’s back story like three different times, and every argument gets rehashed like five times, and we get to see the [spoiler] from like three different camera angles, at three different times.
Holy crap somebody take an ax to this thing!
We also decided that The Great Gatsby and Moby Dick, two Great American Novels, are actually the same story — the passionate, all-consuming search for an elusive, destructive creature. So I drew a picture of a sperm whale wearing a flapper dress.