The Great Gatsby

by HelluvaGirl

I know The Great Gatsby is old news; I’m sure most of you have seen it and many of you have run into all those quotes by Francis Scott Fitzgerald on Pinterest and Twitter after the premiere. 

This is not a film review.  I guess none of the ones I write are, really.

For one, I am surprised how I’ve managed to not read Fitzgerald’s single book throughout my life till present, and second, his quotes I come across fly like darts straight into a very sensitive place of my experience.

Have you ever noticed that in the face of any form of art, we are only genuinely moved when it echoes with our experience, with something we already know?

I can remember myself going to that theatre performance in my hometown for maybe six times. It was called The Cat Behind the Door. I went to see it whenever it was on the repertoire until they removed it. I was 16 then, and the first time I saw the performance, I cried unstoppably – which I didn’t do much. There it was – my trigger and under-cover therapy. I would go to see the spectacle and I would cry rivers every time. It was about something I could not speak of then, and this little girl character would say after the culmination:

And there will be a flash of bright Southern sunlight, and my hair will grow long and golden. I want, I so much want to go to Corsica…

The lighting operator who would provide me with the theatre invitations and take me to the lake on thundering summer nights once met me outside the old theatre building after the show and laughed. I didn’t know you were this sensitive, he said.

Generally, I love films portraying the society, depicting categories of people, stripping the souls of characters. I love to watch people and their lives; I’m a voyeurist. When I saw The Great Gatsby, I was more than touched or lost in thoughts – I was as if awoken. The cast is brilliant and, apart from an overdose of nano-post-production, the film is a grand Hollywood product.

One of the few, though, that I will never forget because of the Gatsby thing. The way he was. I think I know it somehow – the complete submersion into a feeling, an idea that is so vast and – yes – bearing the depth of insanity, that it’s out of touch with the rest of the world. It is so unearthly pure and looking completely opposite on the outside that it makes Gatsby tragic in the context of any century, any society and circumstance. And it makes my heart bleed – how sure he was, how wrong he was.

I think I know it. Meeting someone that convinces you the world was actually created for that single encounter to take place. And when I say this, I cannot recall a name. I only know the feeling.

Larger than life. Extending over the beginnings and endings of it. Rarely fulfilled in the form of an actual lasting relationship. Too sacred to be mutual.

And when you know it, it’s kinda hard to collect yourself and submit to smaller offerings.

I love DiCaprio as a professional. I am grateful because he makes me believe in his every character. It is so important for a film – to resemble life. That’s what they are made of after all.