What do The Great Gatsby and Romeo and Juliet have in common?
Leonardo DiCaprio and Baz Luhrmann
And, if the movie trailer for The Great Gatsby is any indication, these movies, even though they are based on works from such different literary giants (Fitzgerald and Shakespeare) definitely have the same “feel.” Even before the trailer said the director was the same person from Romeo and Juliet, I thought “Whoa, this looks so similar to Leonardo DiCaprio’s ’Romeo and Juliet’. That’s strange.” But, then the trailer said the films had the same director.
Here’s what I thought about Leonardo DiCaprio’s version of Romeo – he was a good fit. He was believable as the young, love sick, rash, impatient and imprudent Romeo.
I love the story of Gatsby because it is such a great example of an arena story – I get sucked into the time, the parties, the decadence and then the sadness and desolation every time I read it – and I’ve read it A LOT.
I don’t like the characters – I don’t sympathize or empathize with them. I don’t root for them. Daisy Buchanan makes my skin crawl. I get so irritated with her husband and with Nick Carraway that I want to scream. And, Gatsby, I think he suffers from the ultimate foolishness and weakness, but man oh man, I love that story.
So, I hope that Leonardo DiCaprio is as good of a fit in his role as Jay Gatsby as he was as Romeo.
I also hope that this movie shows me something new, a new take, a new interpretation, something that makes me see a different angle on this story that is so familiar. And, I will enjoy getting to visit this story, which is like an old friend. For me, this is the mark of great literature.
A year to wait – I hope it is worth it!
Movie Trailer: The Great Gatsby
Movie Trailer: Romeo and Juliet