Well doesn’t this look truly scrumptious? I must admit I’m pretty darn excited about 2012's The Great Gatsby. The Luhrmann stamp isn’t to everyone’s taste, and that's probably because it borders on the tasteless. His oeuvre seems locked in a perpetual circus, a whirling carousel of sequined glamour on an almost sickening level of gaudiness. His take on the old Fitzy classic is bound to induce a marmite-like divide. But love it or hate it, one can’t deny that Luhrmann does more than most directors to bring the essence of texts from page to screen - I can’t help but think of Romeo and Juliet without recalling his 1996 version, the decorated guns, the chintzy porcelain angels, the use of water, all strong visual motifs that suddenly brought Shakespeare alive for an image-driven generation. Too often adaptations of great works fail because they make a pallid comparison to their original source, with little done to make the most of the cinematic medium. It may be gaudy, but Luhrmann at least attempts to bring the colour back to age-old masterpieces.
|Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan star in The Great Gatsby|
And what better opportunity to deploy this fetishized focus on the image than in recreating Gatsby, the original great pretender, to whom façade is everything and the truth is veiled by the most opulent of masks? The trailer gives a tantalising taste of what’s to come, featuring a snapshot of all the gorgeous ecstasies and tragic agonies experienced by the mysterious man and the atomised characters around him. Nothing will ever come close to the lyricism of the novel, but I can’t help but feel The Great Gatsby going to be Luhrmann’s biggest hit yet.