|Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby (Image: Warner Brothers)|
Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, and Isla Fisher opens in theaters this weekend. This will be the novel's fourth big-screen adaptation since it was written in 1925.
Film critics are praising Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, but the overall film, they say, isn't quite as spectacular as the book. In fact, if you read the reviews, you'll find some rather heated comments. From the Washington Post, "This dreadful film even derogates the artistry of Fitzgerald, who wrote 'The Great Gatsby' while living on Long Island and in Europe. In a deviation from the book that amounts to a calumny against literary history, Nick, the author's surrogate, is discovered in a psychiatric hospital where, as an aging alcoholic, he struggles to comprehend the vanished figure at the center of the long-ago story, and finally completes his treatment by writing the novel. It's literature as therapy, and Gatsby as Rosebud."
As I’ve said on the blog before, no matter what happens, the film already is set up to make money because it is The Great Gatsby, a novel everyone knows and everyone loves. Even people who aren’t familiar with literature know this book. From New York Magazine, “The best thing about Baz Luhrmann's much-anticipated/much-dreaded The Great Gatsby is that, for all its computer-generated whoosh and overbroad acting, it is unmistakably F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby.' That is no small deal."
Leave your comments below if you love or hate The Great Gatsby, which opens today, May 10, 2013.