Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found trailers to be endlessly fascinating.
Today I’m offering up three trailers from the upcoming 3D film, The Great Gatsby. All of the trailers use interesting musical choices to highlight the setting and emphasize the emotion of the classic story, and the music is the biggest difference between the three. Here’s the first one, read on after the jump for my thoughts on it and for the other two:
This first trailer opens with “No Church in the Wild” by Jay-Z and Kanye West (with vocals by Frank Ocean), and its throbbing beat serves the gorgeous visuals that Baz Luhrmann has created. The Great Gatsby is a story of the decadence of the roaring 1920’s, and both this trailer and the 2nd one use this song to help underscore that era. This trailer introduces us to Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) the wide-eyed neighbor of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who serves as narrator for the story. It prevents Gatsby as a mystery, unknown to even those who attend his parties. The trailer then transitions to Gatsby himself, his relationship with Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and a scattering of events from the story. The drama of the trailer, while intense, does little to give away the plot of the film (for those who have never read the book), keeping a veil of mystery of the proceedings while setting everything to Jack White’s haunting cover of U2’s “Love is Blindness” which hints at the drama within.
The 2nd trailer also opens with “No Church in the Wild,” but instead focuses on Gatsby, giving us some of his backstory. He tells us of his time in the war, and brags of his life as a rich playboy. Nick Carraway acts in awe of him, but still has reservations, believing Gatsby to be holding something back. While the images in the 2nd half of the trailer are similar to the first (with the addition of a shot that spoils the climax of the story), we get some different dialogue and a different arrangement, adding emphasis to the importance of the relationship between Gatsby and Daisy. The Filter’s cover of “Happy Together” (originally by The Turtles) gives us a glimpse of the obsessive love that Gatsby has for Daisy, and that is prevalent in the story generally, and it’s all underscored by Gatsby’s statement (straight from the book), “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can.”
The final trailer, aka the plot trailer, is less interesting to me as someone who has read the book, but probably more helpful for those who haven’t. It does give us a view of the intensity of the performances to be expected, and also introduces us to Tom (Joel Edgerton), Daisy’s suspicious husband, while scored to a Beyonce cover of the Amy Winehouse song “Back to Black.” It gives us Daisy and Gatsby’s backstory and Nick tells us in voiceover of Gatsby’s plans. The trailer actually gives their love a much more romantic feel that I was expected, particularly with the Lana Del Ray song “Young and Beautiful” as a background. After another version of the spoilery shot, we get a sense of the (potentially?) doomed nature of the relationship as Florence and the Machine’s “Over the Love” plays.
Altogether we get three trailers full of stunning cinematography (as only Baz Luhrmann can deliver), intense performances and fascinating music. What do you think? Are you looking forward to its release on May 10, after a five month delay? Which trailer do you prefer?
I like the first one the best. It gives you the feeling of the film as if through a series of snapshots which really show off the visuals. It starts with mystery then progresses to passion (timed perfectly to the song) and hints at the tragedy. I may have missed it, but I think it’s also the only one with the eyes billboard, which is an image that stuck with me from reading the book a decade ago and it looks just as unsettling here as I had imagined it.
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