Originally published as part of a Round-Up for The Boar.
With its supreme vistas of decadent extravagance, as the party breaks into raucous swing to the accompaniment of modern dubstep, the new Gatbsy film errs on the side of the unreal. But perhaps that’s appropriate; after all, it was in the same era that T.S.Eliot was penning the phrase ‘unreal city’ for The Waste Land.
For me, the overtly creative cuts with flurries of petals and the frequent, almost post-apocalyptic seeming pan shots foregrounding the Valley of Ashes in front of the Big City, were playing with cinema in a way that jarred with the beauty of the story. The scenes that were touching were those in the small spaces: the first time Daisy and Gatsby meet again, and the close, claustrophobic scene at the hotel, in which DiCaprio excels in building the explosion of tension. In conclusion, the personal was often lost for the prioritisation of the grandly cinematic.