June 1, 2013

Among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars… I have been waiting a long time for this

It’s safe to say that I have been patiently waiting for Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

In this blog, I have published a number of posts over the last few years to document the filming process. As far back as October 2011, I started posting paparazzi photos from the set in Sydney, and speculating about how Leonardo DiCaprio would fare as Jay Gatsby.

In November 2011, I mused about how Luhrmann might struggle with the delicate balance between showing off his leading man and conveying the air of mystery that is supposed to shroud this Gatsby character.

In February 2012, I posted about the Sydney reshoots that delayed the production of the film and provided yet more opportunities for the paparazzi to give us a glimpse at the costumes and set designs.

All the while, I eagerly waited for the December 2012 release date, only to be disappointed when the film was pushed back until May 2013. Whenever I sat in the cinema and the Gatsby trailer was screened, I would muffle a shriek of excitement and feel a shiver up my spine. Soon, so soon!

My patience has really been tested over the last few weeks, as the rest of the world filed into cinemas and Australia was forced to wait. I have retweeted dozens of reviews on Twitter, but I have not read a single one.

I will read them all, but not before I write my own.

In this blog, I painstakingly compare the page to the screen. In the film adaptation process, which elements of the original did the Director leave out? Which plot points and characters have been folded in together? Has the original work been respected or even improved upon?

After a few years of writing such comparisons, I have realised that it is a very personal process. Everyone reads books differently and conjures different interpretations of each word. Sometimes film adaptations compliment people's imaginations, and sometimes they don’t. There is no right or wrong, just opinion and conjecture.

When I publish my review of The Great Gatsby (hopefully later today), it will be my interpretation alone. This review has been a long time coming, so it will not be coloured by the thoughts of another.

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