With Anastasia and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory already planned to open on Broadway as well as that Spongebob musical the news that they are working on adapting Moulin Rouge! for the stage makes a bunch of sense. Sure when the film came out in 2001 me and my friends would discuss how it would be wonderful if it was adapted for the stage. Something akin to talk of a stage version of Newsies, we were sure that it would eventually happen but hadn’t a clue when. It seems likely that we will continue seeing this idea adapting popular films into stage musicals going forward as it seems to have happened throughout history. I think it would be real cool if like The Prince of Egypt could somehow be adapted for the stage. It would be nice if we could get some new ideas on Broadway and touring the globe but new musicals take time to refine whereas adapting a film is perhaps easier, don’t really have a clue here, but with the story already done you just have to write up song and fit them in some place.
When the film was first announced in 2008 I was kind of excited to see it. When the film did come out in earlier this year it didn’t receive the greatest of reviews and I passed on seeing it in the movie theater but I knew I would eventually get to seeing this movie. The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s greatest work and has been considered on of the Great American Novels and is routinely on list of best reads.
Gatsby has been made into films multiple times. The silent film made in 1926 is all but lost to time, I personally haven’t hear anything about the 1949 version. The 1974 film with Robert Redford is the version I first saw after I read Gatsby in high school. It was a decent adaptation but many consider the fault in the film was the director. I think that the same can be said for the most recent adaptation by Baz Lurhmann.
I have liked Lurhmann’s previous films, especially The Red Curtain Trilogy (Strictly Ballroom, William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet, and Moulin Rouge) and this film wasn’t that bad it’s just different. The whole sanitarium framing device i think ruins the story, as Nick is an important character in the story and by having him reflecting on this in a sanitarium treating his alcoholism feels a bit misguided. Another problem I have with most movies of Gatsby is they try to make it a love story with Gatsby longing for Daisy’s green light, but it is about remaking ourselves and how we all need second chances in life.
Once again I like how Lurhmann mixed the modern and the classic, with the modern music in the past. He has a very adept hand at doing this. For all the visual beauty of the film it just falls flat, but that could be me just wanting much more in a movie based on one of my favorite books.