The second trailer for Baz Luhrman's version of "The Great Gatsby" looks like the preview for a movie that is going to attempt to tell the story of F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic Jazz Age novel in the way only that makes sense. And the only what that has yet to be attempted on film.
Luhrman's glossy film as presented in the trailer provides a sneak preview of a movie intent on doing away with the irrational attempt to find great and profound meaning in the book. Gatsby is himself all surface material with nothing beneath the skin. You can find profundity in the novel if you look hard enough, but then again you can probably find profundity in "Fifty Shades of Grey" if dig deep enough. Not that I am in any way comparing the meaningless of "Fifty Shades of Grey" to Fitzgerald's novel.
F. Scott Fitzgerald is a writer, not a fan fictionist. Case closed. Time to move on.
The whole point of "The Great Gatsby" is to reveal the hollow soul beneath America's glitz. Gatsby is more indicative of the paradigmatic American now more than ever. If there is anyone in America who is the real life contemporary version of Jay Gatsby, it would be Donald Trump. Trump, like Gatsby, is all flickering surface. To some Trump represents something strangely attractive that is to be admired. He is rich, but there are troubling questions as to just how rich. Even more troubling is the manner in which he acquired whatever wealth he has.
Looking at the second trailer for "The Great Gatsby" should not help but bring to mind thoughts of Donald Trump. Not in the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio looks anything like Trump. Indeed, it would take a Trump to make DiCaprio's appearance in the trailer anything that even remotely brings to mind Robert Redford. No, the reason that Luhrman's vision of "The Great Gatsby" brings to mind Donald Trump is that everything about the film is gloss. Pretty too look at, exciting, kinetic and shiny, but explicitly presented as patina. A little bit of elbow grease, a rag and some soap and the glossy patina is rubbed right off…revealing a yellowing, curling veneer of faux oak beneath.
Which should make every fan of "The Great Gatsby" happy. At long last, Fitzgerald's eternally misunderstood satire on the emptiness of the American Dream may reach the screen in a way that matches the literary source.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Donald Trump
- Scott Fitzgerald