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Too ‘Modern’ for the 1920s?

Jay-Z, Andre 300, Beyonce, will.i.am, Fergie, The xx, Florence and the Machine, Lana Del Ray, and Jack White.

Now, lets mull on those artists a bit… What comes to mind? Obviously the Roaring 20’s, right? Wrong! Or, at least it would have been up until May 1, 2013. Director Baz Luhrmann decided to shake up his interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, ‘The Great Gatsby’ with a ‘young’ and ‘modern’ musical vibe. Was this choice a hit or miss? Two viewer based websites took a poll and the responses varied largely. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a painful 34% out of 100%, while imdb.com awarded it an impressive 7.5 out of 10. What causes such a large disparity among viewers? My opinion, the soundtrack.

I personally loved the film and its soundtrack, but many viewers (of all ages I might add!) felt the soundtrack pulled the audience out of the story with its distracting dupstep beats and multi-layered rap/full orchestra compositions. Luhrmann has been known to add a ‘fresh twist’ on films set in different time periods, such as  Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet. Viewer’s opinions of these films vary, but a unanimous amount agreed that the beautiful cinematography was the breath and heartbeat of both films. I agree that The Great Gatsby also possessed a magical visual quality that could entrance any audience member, but whether the soundtrack kept you in that world is up to you!

 

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