The One Defense of The Lesser Gatsby

There is one great aspect of The Great Gatsby in 3D (which yes, is a real movie, not something I made up for this blog.  See?) that I forgot to mention in the last Tuesday’s post.  It’s the same reason I thought DiCaprio should play Gatsby’s con artist illegitimate child in The Greater Gatsby.  Quite simply, Leonardo DiCaprio is really, really good at dying (Warning: I’m going to mention several of his deaths in this.  They’re pretty much all ones that you saw coming, but just thought I’d give you the heads-up).

Which death is this?  Does it matter?

DiCaprio is an expert at dying, whether it’s because he was a) a poor person on the Titanic, b) shot by Gene Hackman, c) shot by a guy you didn’t even notice was a character, much less a bad guy, d) Romeo, or e) whatever happened in Blood Diamond.  And any time he doesn’t die, he comes really close, because he’s doing something like flying an airplane he shouldn’t be flying or climbing a water tower he shouldn’t be climbing, or whatever happened in Shutter Island.

There is no doubt that watching him get shot in his swimming pool after Daisy runs over Myrtle would be really, really intense and sad.  But does that justify an entire film?  Couldn’t they just film that scene, put it on YouTube, and call it quits?  Or it could just be a fun short film they show after the credits of Jay, which is what I’ve decided the Andre 3000 version of Gatsby should be called.  (The Great Gatsby’s first name was Jay, if you weren’t sure.)

Furthermore, based on some comments made on the previous post on this subject, I believe that Bale probably isn’t the best choice for the mechanic who kills Gatsby in Jay.  Perhaps Bale can play the owl-eyed man, but we give it a twist: he’s an undercover cop who has been trying to track down the heroin-dealing Gatsby for years, and is finally closing in (he wasn’t just admiring Gatsby’s books in the library; he was looking for clues).  The final showdown can result in the mechanic killing Gatsby and then himself, with the cop getting there too late to do anything.  But as he watches Gatsby die, Bale realizes that maybe this guy wasn’t that bad after all, causing him to go to his funeral the next day with Nick Canon.  Either that, or Bale gets shot by Nick Canon, if we want it to be an ending with lots of people getting killed.  Or, Tom Buchanan shows up and kills Bale, then Carraway and Buchanan have to hide the body together.

Does it really make sense to have Bale play this guy’s role, even if he does kill Gatsby?  No, probably not. 

Finally, Daisy would have to have a lamp that emits a green light in her bedroom, and Gatsby stands outside in the street, doing that arms-outstretched thing that no one is sick of.


  1. >I don't think it will be sad or intense when Gatsby played by DiCaprio dies. It would be a good time to get popcorn or a bathroom break. He manages to suck the life out of most movies so this won't be any different. I say they kill him right away and then tell the story without mentioning him again.

  2. >I would feel the same way, were it not for the Departed, which proved that he can play characters that you care about. I really can't see anyway that the DiCaprio Gatsby (the real one that is actually being made) will be anything but a failure, whether he dies in the first five minutes or not.

  3. >predictable in a good way. I think the entire Gatsby film could start with about 10 minutes of slow motion death of Leo…shot and falling into the pool. during the 10 minutes a lot of flashback and more slow motion falling into the pool with blood etc. shots looking up to surface etc. are nice. Love the beginning of Sunset Blvd…good place to start here too. He should narrate the entire movie.

  4. >I don't like his voice. so whiny so would hate the narration. Isn't that the job of Nick to narrate anyway? Could start with the death scene and make it seem like the entire movie is a murder/suspense/thriller type of thing even though it is just a stupid love story.

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