Film Adaptations,  Random

The Great Gatsby (2013)

The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite books ever. I love how many layers it has and you get to discover a new one every time you read it. I’ve already read it about three times and this year, I’m certainly re-reading it.

Romeo + Juliet is one of my favourite movies ever. Everything just falls into place when it needs to: Claire Danes’ and Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting, the music and above all the colours. Baz Luhrmann made a masterpiece. So what happens when The Great Gatsby is adapted into a movie by Baz Luhrmann himself? Just imagine.

I’ve been waiting for this movie for a long time, ever since the news that Luhrmann was into the project came out. Then the actors went to Australia to shoot it and there were endless pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio in suits. I know. And then, when it finally got a release date, it was moved almost a year because the 3D was not ready. Now – hopefully – the movie is coming out this May and I’m overexcited. For everything, even the fact the movie does not seem to resemble what I remember about the book in a literal way. Check the trailer:

When I first saw it a few weeks ago I said Mr. B&R: “You know? I don’t know how I feel about all this!” Now I know. I love it. I’ve seen the trailer three times in a row and I’m sold. First of all, you need to know I love Luhrmann’s aesthetic: everything is colourful, everything is bright. I’m more than fine with that. I also enjoy Leonardo DiCaprio who has turned out to be a better dramatic actor than everyone expected. Of course, I love the story because I love the original work by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I actually have Gatsby printed all over a T-shirt! So, basically I had two problems:

1)  I didn’t see Carey Mulligan as Daisy and

2) Where did those steamy scenes come from? Wow.

I still haven’t worked out if I like Mulligan mainly because I’ve always thought Daisy was a really complex and dark character hidden under an appearance of sweetness and wealth. And Carey does have that sweetness look, too sweet in fact, let’s wait to see the movie to judge if she can pull it. Regarding the steamy scenes, it’s all worked out. It’s a Hollywood movie and it needs to sell well, incredibly well, actually. But as someone who’s read the book I didn’t see the typical steamy scenes. I saw the desperation I felt every time I thought Daisy was maybe giving in to Gatsby and she wasn’t. They also come from the hidden desires of millions of readers through the years who’ve wanted her to give in, making Gatsby happy. Yes, Gatsby is more than a love story, I know, but it is the exploration of such a dark, twisted and desperate view of love that attracts me to the book every single time and every single time I get the same feeling. And the trailer really gave me that feeling. I hope the whole movie amplifies that a million times.

If apart from books you also like music, pay attention Lana del Rey’s Young and Beautiful song in the trailer. A dreamy combination!



  • Jade

    It’s a rarity that I get that spine chilling feeling when watching a movie trailer, but I got that with this. The last time I had that feeling was for the trailer of Hitchcock, which really didn’t live up to my expectations, I hope The Great Gatsby does however!
    I love the cast (I know what you mean about Carey Mulligan, but I don’t think we should underestimate her), the scenery, the soundtrack…. I have high expectations and can’t wait until this is released.

    • Elena

      I’m glad you like it too. And yes, of course I’m waiting to see the movie and judge Mulligan based only on her acting. Maybe the Daisy in the omvie doesn’t have the dark, twisty side she has in the book – which would be a shame, really.

  • Leah

    I have mixed feelings about the trailer. I think the casting is excellent, and the cinematography is beautiful, but the vibe just feels wrong to me. Gatsby is such a quiet, introspective book, that all the brash loudness of the trailer doesn’t seem to fit that. I’ll definitely see the movie, but I’m not expecting it to evoke the same feelings as the book.

    • Elena

      That’s a great point you make, but the roaring 20s were so much fun, full of parties and drinks and girls dancing, so chaotic! I hope you like it (I hope I like it too!)

  • naomifrisby

    Cannot wait to see this. Baz Luhrmann doing the Roaring 20s with Leo DiCaprio? Yes, please!

    Think I’m going to leave my feelings about the book (which I love) at the door to the screen and just revel in the glamour of it all.

    • Elena

      I think that’s a great idea, Naomi. And yes, Leo and Baz are the perfect combination!

      It is released later here in Spain, but we should have a talk as soon as we watch it!

  • amanda

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. (Then again, I never could decide if I liked the book when I read it in school…) I’ve liked Lurhmann’s movies in the past, but the trailer for this one looks just a little over-the-top. Then again, that’s the idea isn’t it? It will be interesting to see what people think of it when it comes out.

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