So far, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is debuting to mixed reviews, which is pretty disappointing given all the hype, the high-caliber cast, and the stunning aesthetics evident from the film’s trailers. But for every negative review, there’s another critic saying “well, hold on” and defending the film on its merits.
The Huffington Post, particularly, can’t seem to decide whether or not you should see The Great Gatsby, with two critics offering opposing reviews. Even more strange both reviewers hate or love the film for seemingly the same reasons.
The first review, from HuffPost’s Senior Entertainment Writer Mike Ryan, paints a rather dull picture of a film with so much visual promise. Though Ryan says that he was looking forward to the film, he confesses to almost falling asleep twice during an afternoon screening.
“For whatever reason, The Great Gatsby decides not to go ‘all in’ on spectacle and, instead, eventually tries to become something that resembles a faithful adaptation. This movie wants it both ways and, in turn, winds up being not very good at either.”
But that’s kind of the point, according to Kia Makarechi, who wrote a counter-piece to Ryan’s review. Noting the flash and pomp of the first half and how it slows into a depressing and dejecting affair in the second, Makarechi finds The Great Gatsby to be exactly what the trailer promises: A faithful adaptation with a lot of style.
“I’d argue that the movie is actually shockingly faithful all throughout,” Makarechi writes. “If you leave Gatsby feeling dejected, as I did, Lurhmann has been faithful to Fitzgerald’s book.”
Overall, Makarechi encourages you to give Gastby a shot, and to not let negative reviews disappoint you before you’ve experienced the film for yourself.
“The problem with reviews of the movie isn’t that they dare find fault in the Luhrmann’s ambition, but that they’re unreasonably harsh.”
Are you still planning on seeing The Great Gatsby?