Tuesday, May 14, 2013

“The Great Gatsby” Redux with Hip Hop and 3D– I Think Not!

“The Great Gatsby” Redux  with Hip Hop and 3D– I Think Not!

For me, Jay Gatsby will always be Robert Redford and Daisy Buchanan Mia Farrow. I will visualize no other as Nick Carraway than Sam Waterston.

I first read Fitzgerald’s homage to the Jazz Age that he and Zelda inhabited while I was in high school.  Gatsby was mysterious and romantic with a hint of the forbidden.  Really, where did he accumulate his money? With the exception of Nick Carraway, the outsider and narrator, none of the characters are particularly likeable. The book celebrates excess, carelessness, privilege and the weakness of the human condition.  Gatsby wants to believe in the possibility of reinvention and the ability to buy status and prestige. That is a theme that particularly resonates with we 21st Century Americans.  

But Gatsby is of the Jazz Age. And for me, Leonardo DiCaprio cannot be Jay Gatsby. The 3D production is a gimmick. The music of Gatsby should be Scott Joplin, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Hoagy Carmichael and George Gershwin. Hip Hop? Nyet! Nope! Nein! Non! Not on your life!

I understand that Hollywood likes to recycle success. But I will not subject myself to this extravaganza. I cannot imagine the one note di Caprio as Jay Gatsby. And while I like Toby McGuire, he is not Sam Waterston.  To take a musical note from another era “Let It Be”!

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