Top critical review
Emptiness, Futility and Rottenness Revealed
on 3 September 2017
If you thought Gatsby was about glitz, this hideous version of the story will show you how wrong your were. Gatsby, according to the irrepressible Baz, is about super-super-super glitz. Glitz where confetti falls all the time from the sky but never accumulates on the floor, Glitz which has every apartment block in down-down NY lurid with fire-engine red, atomic yellow and puke green. Glitz which has a speakeasy in prohibition times looking like the Folies Bergères (without the nudity of course -- this is a family show). Glitz which believes that dressing-up middle-aged actresses in Prada gowns will somehow recreate the furore of the twenties. Enough about glitz. Another stomach-churning horror are the computer simulations. For the most part, badly done and unconvincing: the rubbish tip and the garage are, in Fitzgerald's telling of the story, nightmarish with surrealistic eyes overseeing the wickedness of mankind. Baz gives us a kiddie-comic version as unthreatening as an overpowered TV advertisement for a unaffordable sports car. The acting never rises beyond the excrutiatingly bad. Gatsby loves Daisy? Never on your life, old sport. Daisy loves Gatsby? When? How? Where is there a single expression or gesture that expresses even a flicker of any kind of love? Jordan, the cheating golfer and Nick? A zero number. And as for "a re-interpretation of the twenties" which some reviewers flutter on about. What is Baz telling us? Even the ragpickers on the municipal dump had shiny new straw hats, the hydrangea flowers were ultramarine blue, and nobody ever swore? Come off it, old sport.
So why two stars? "The Great Gatsby" is about the emptiness and futility of wealth. "They are a rotten crowd." Emptiness, fulitity and a pervasive rottenness ooze from every crack in this awful film. Now possibly -- just possibly -- that was intentional.