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Moulin Rouge in Long Island

Moulin Rouge in Long Island
For the last decade The Great Gatsby has been one of my favourite books. When a translation happens between forms (text to celluloid) a lot stands at being either lost or gained. And with Baz Luhrmann at the helm of affairs – The Great Gatsby hits you square between the eyes with the Moulin Rouge meets Chicago at Long Island business. But settle in, get used to it. It is worth the ride.

I ceremoniously put my foot in mouth at the interval while animatedly discussing the next appearance of Woldsheim. I apparently spoiled the movie for a lady who – wait for it – had not read the novel. My sincere apologies to Fitzgerald for this. Who hasn’t read the book?

Leonardo DiCaprio does stunning justice to Jay Gatsby as he appears in Long Island, fancy mansion, lavish parties et all. Toby Maguire as Nick Carraway seems to have been yanked out of his Peter Parkar avatar and dumped unceremoniously amidst the roaring twenties with the Charleston, the gin and the custom-job bright jalopies.

And then there is the ephemeral Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her Tom (Joel Edgerton) – the careless people who stomp over people’s lives as deftly as Fitzgerald describes them. You want to protect Jay as much as Jay wants to protect Daisy. The myth of Sisyphus over and over again.

Luhrmann claims to have dreamt up his Gatsby online the Trans-Siberian railway. And what a dream. From the 3D snowflakes to the shimmery tinsel, the debaucheries in New York, his Gatsby haunts you. The movie delivers, yet it doesn’t – the same way Nick says – within and without. The pleasure of hearing your eternal favourite text book quote on celluloid is magic and goosebumps. Thank you Luhrmann.
Jhinuk Sen

Jhinuk Sen

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