The Great Gatsby (beware of spoilers)

ImageSo just returned after watching the long-awaited Great Gatsby starring  Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. And I’ll have to suspend all previous literary instruction and nominate the only word I feel truly encapsulates this masterpiece:


Not the popular urgh of disgust but the sound made when your breath is taken away and leaves you only with primal grunts of satisfaction.

It was magnificent. A tale of a man who lived the most lavish and envied lifestyle but in truth, was deeply troubled and lonely, building this extravagant life to attract the attention of a woman who eluded him. A role that seems to be Leonardo DiCaprio’s bread and butter: On-edge, borderline insane, insecure, trusting, charming, creepy but at the same time, completely safe.  Elegant at his best, affectionately clingy at his worst, J. Gatsby was a man we could not help but love. And his faithful friend, Nick Caraway played by boyishly charming Tobey Maguire, narrated the story exquisitely, with a deep insight into the complicated Gatsby and matters of life and love which he taught us.

But as with most epic movies, the story line is secondary to the message it teaches. J. Gatsby was a poor farmer’s child with a stolen identity who had grand dreams for the future. However we watch this all change when he falls in love. Love stops him in his tracks, as it does for most. As Tobey Maguire so beautifully put it:

“He knew that when he kissed this girl…his mind would never romp again like the mind of God”

He was free to climb as high as his imagination could take him; in fact, he turned his destiny around so quickly, it’s easy to believe he did imagine the whole thing for himself. His visions and possible achievements were free and unbridled, until he fell in love. Then the object of his affection became his limitation. His life suddenly existed to please her and to get her back into his life. Just as he tirelessly pursued his goal of a better life, now he tirelessly pursued his new vision: being with Daisy Buchanan.

He could no longer go where he pleased, do what he pleased and dream of the endless possibilities of tomorrow. Now his dreams only consisted of her. Love limited him, and eventually, love killed him. A tragic end, so beautifully directed by Bahz Luhrmann, who also directed other epics such as ‘Romeo + Juliet’ and ‘Moulin Rouge’.

Luhrmann showed so clearly and so elegantly; the frivolity of life, the carelessness and limitations of love, and the immeasurable wonders of the human imagination.

Review by Konyin Aromolaran


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