Here are three things I know to be true according to the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby:
1. Robert Redford is way sexier than Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby. Those dreamy blue eyes carry all of his expressions throughout the movie. I haven’t planned on seeing the new version for anything except for the fashion but I have seen a crapload of footage and clips and although Leo is very good looking, in any role – except for when he played Arnie Grape, Redford could charm the pants off of any woman worth hers. On second thought, if we shared a similar mental capacity and Arnie took a bath, it could work.
2. Wealthy people are unable to be appreciative. I fully believe that you cannot be grateful for anything until you have been without. This includes food, shelter, education, opportunity, electricity, indoor plumbing, Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, etc. The wealthy have the ability to be humble and less judgmental than expected but just like in the movie, they treat other people and things as though they are toys, disposable, replaceable items. What’s even stranger is that this little theory of mine no longer just applies to the blue blooded folks in the world but now, also the nouveau riche. Gatsby, although he didn’t want anyone to know, was new to money and the only reason that he went as far as he did to get it was because he loved Daisy. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for her actions and ridiculously fleeting nature, only for her to build a new home with her cheating husband. He was always a toy to her. “A rich girl could never marry a poor boy!”.
3. It is not as difficult as it once was to amass a small fortune, hence why Gatsby owned an immaculate home on the wrong side of the bay, but it is more difficult than ever to remember what you came from. The behavior of reality stars prove this everyday. Take the “lovely”, always insanely overdressed Basketball Wives.
There is a constant reference to their “inner circle” and Evelyn loves to remind the other girls how important she and Jen are in Miami. Had these ladies came from wealth or class there is no way the would have ever married or dated goons that throw sports balls. Millions or no millions, they would need a legacy. They don’t belong in that world, their lack of discretion proves this without my convincing. These ladies would be completely different and probably alot more useful, if they remained in the world from which they came or at least remembered where that was. I believe that Gatsby could have been happy, he could’ve lived well if he left the past behind him and lived for himself. Instead, he lived for wealth and status because of his love for Daisy. Like a reality star, he lusted for something he couldn’t handle, something he wasn’t bred for. The Great Gatsby has a very powerful message that rings true to today with all of our “idol worshiping” and overnight celebrity; it is best said by Kurt Vonnegut: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be”.