I’m wondering why Leonardo DiCaprio ends up in movies where he dies in the water?
Seriously. He and death and a water scene go hand in hand.
And The Great Gatsby is no exception.
If you’re mad because I didn’t say spoiler alert, the book has been around since 1925 and almost everyone read it in high school (even though the content is way too mature for a 17-year-old), so get over it.
During the final scenes of The Great Gatsby, I couldn’t help but think about Titanic and how Leo was holding onto the wood when he died and then sunk into the water below. The death scene in Gatsby didn’t have the “blow-up mattress” that the book described. I almost wonder if the Baz Luhrmann felt Leo’s death on a water mattress would have been too close to Titanic’s death on a wood plank. But Gatsby does sink down through the water towards the bottom of the pool, just like in Titanic. The theme of water and DiCaprio is also evident in Inception, where he washes up in the waves on the beach of his dream world. The theme of death is evident in almost all DiCaprio’s movies.
Other than this parallelism between the movies, I loved The Great Gatsby. Some people have said the modernism of the music took away from the feel of the movie, but I felt they combined enough jazz era music with the thumping bass of a modern party. I almost think the music was essential for a modern movie-goer to understand how scandalous and erotic Gatsby’s parties were. It’s easy for an individual to hear jazz music and think about symphonies, orchestras, and Porgy & Bess, instead of the underground jazz movement with flappers, alcohol, and immorality.
I’m also not a huge Tobey McGuire fan, but he played the overwhelmed, insecure, and curiously timid character of Nick Carraway very well. His disgust at the materialism and reckless behavior of Tom and Daisy Buchanan was evident in his ultimate dedication to Gatsby, who he truly would have hated if he hadn’t been taken under Gatsby’s wing.
I guess Carey Mulligan did a great job too because I was so frustrated and over Daisy by the end of the movie, even though she was gorgeous and stylish.
My favorite quote from the book and movie:
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…”