Warner Bros. has released a second trailer for Baz Luhrmann's brash, boisterous take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," focusing on the mysterious Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), a legend in his own time, and the sense of wonder and danger that he brings to everything -- and everyone -- around him.
Luhrmann's knack for impossibly gorgeous sets, costumes and makeup jobs (Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan looks downright ethereal, as Nicole Kidman did before her in "Moulin Rouge!") is certainly on display, as well as his love of operatic emotional outbursts (the shot of DiCaprio bellowing in rage at 1:54 brings back memories of his rain-soaked "I AM FORTUNE'S FOOL!" in Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet"). We also get a little bit more of Joel Edgerton's gruff Tom Buchanan and clearer idea of Nick Carraway's (Tobey Maguire) relationship to Gatsby. Check out the trailer here:
There's also, on a much more subtle level, some real "fan service" going on, for those who have read and been seduced by Fitzgerald's classic novel ...
If you look closely, amidst all of the dancing, embracing, swooning and screaming, you can catch a glimpse of the "green light," a relatively modest image in the book that ends up being Fitzgerald's most powerful metaphor. Gatsby notices the green light across the water on the edge of Daisy's dock, its simple beauty transfixing and its source unknown. It comes to represent both the sense of optimism (Gatsby had, according to Tobey Maguire's Nick Carraway, an "extraordinary sense of hope") and uncertainty toward the future -- indeed, an "orgastic" future that might always be unknown and just out of reach.
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Fitzgerald closes his novel by having Carraway muse about the green light:
"And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock ... Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us ..."
You can see the green light for yourself at 0:42, 0:45 and -- for a few fleeting, desperate frames -- at 2:08.
It’s very reassuring to see that, for those of us who might be concerned with a Hollywood adaptation of what’s been called “the great American novel,” Luhrman seems to be hinting he knows, despite the glitzy swirl, what’s truly important about "Gatsby."
Anyway, makes you want to read the book again (or for the first time), doesn't it? You've got some time, as "The Great Gatsby" doesn't open until May 10, 2013.