This week marks the mightily postponed release of jazz-age drama The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. But! Did you know that The Great Gatsby has already been a movie four times, dating all the way back to 1926? It’s also come to my attention that The Great Gatsby was once even written down and typeset as, for lack of a better term, a novel. Serious Luhrmann fans are tracking down this mysterious artifact, hoping for a clue as to what might happen in his groundbreaking new film.
Beware, however! There are spoilers aplenty in this text, apparently penned by a hapless and/or disgruntled drunk. If you read it before seeing the Luhrmann version, you’ll already know about narrator Nick Carraway’s latent homosexuality, not to mention the fateful car accident that brings the story to a climax. You’ll find out that Gatsby is not what he pretends to be. Most alarmingly, you’ll learn of the final shocking twist: that there’s a green light and time is kinda weird.
If you want my advice, go into this Baz Luhrmann epic cold. Sometimes we have to trust a peerless auteur to get his message across effectively rather than scrounge around for some Cliff Notes or what have you. And with a running time of two and a half hours, the movie can be viewed in fifteen fewer minutes than it would take to get through all those troubling and ambiguous words! You’ll get a much better sense of the period hairstyles, too.