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Non-Review Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

The Great Gatsby feels like candy floss for the soul. A little of it is tempting, even appetizing. It was a curious texture, a strange sense of lightness, but also curiously heavy. Appealing to look at, and fun to pick at, it’s not something to be digested in large portions. The opening fifteen minutes of The Great Gatsby pop and sizzle, as Luhrman blends stylish visuals with an inability to keep anything still. The cameras, the actors and even the scenery seem to be moving to a beat – one occasionally intruding on the sound track. Such energy and vibrance is hard to resist, but it’s also exhausting – as much for the film as the audience. Once the movie settles into its own style and routine, it winds up feeling a lot like its protagonist. You’re not quite sure it’s really there.

thegreatgatsby2

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Non-Review Review: Romeo + Juliet

I’m baaaaack!

Is it a spoiler to say that Romeo + Juliet is a tragedy? You never know these days (I’m reminded of that great Simpsons’ quote, “It started out like Romeo & Juliet, but it ended up in tragedy” – I remember a few people being surprised when I laughed at that, leading me to explain the joke). Still, the opening monologue lays it all out on the table, as does the fact that Shakespeare only ever wrote comedies or tragedies – and this ain’t a comedy. Anyway, I must confess I hate the play, as I hate hell, all Montagues and thee. Okay, not really, but it was drilled into my head for my Junior Certificate exam (as Macbeth would be drilled into my head for the Leaving Certificate). I remember my English teacher – a very nice old lady, by all accounts – steadfastly refusing to show us the Baz Luhrmann ‘reimagining’ of the play. To this day I’m not sure if she made the right call. 

Get used to those wings...

Get used to those wings...

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