The official title of Baz Luhrmann’s new film is not Gatsby! or The Great Gatsby 3D or even Baz Luhrmann Presents The Great Gatsby, but it could very well be any one of these things.
The best film adaptations of novels help us see and experience the book in a new way. Luhrmann’s gorgeous, gaudy, overstuffed Gatsby merely answers one question: What would The Great Gatsby look like as a Baz Luhrmann film?
Well, it would look a whole lot like his Moulin Rouge, mixed with a generous dose of his Romeo + Juliet (Leo is even in it!) and a dab of his Strictly Ballroom.
So the question remains: Is Luhrmann’s gonzo, over-saturated cinematic world actually a good fit for Gatsby? Yes and no. Like Jay Gatsby, Luhrmann sure knows how to throw a party. And the parties here are decadent, eye-popping affairs—with champagne flowing and roaming acrobats and giddy flappers mixing in with the society swells (all in 3D! It’s like you are there!). It’s the rest of the film that falls a little flat. All of this carefully orchestrated stimulation can be a bit stultifying—the film doesn't give us any room to breathe. (And the hip-hop infused soundtrack...