Is Gatsby truly in love with Daisy, or is she just another arrow in his social-climbing quiver? Why does Daisy choose to stay with Tom, whom she knows to be a serial philanderer? Would Gatsby and Daisy eventually have ended up together were it not for George Wilson’s bullet? The movie has an opinion about all such questions.
Luhrmann said that adapting any well-known text will raise someone’s dander. And it may not just be his telling of the story that is faulted — his unconventional musical choices may prove polarizing.
Just as he used songs by Elton John, David Bowie and U2’s Bono in “Moulin Rouge!,” Luhrmann infused “The Great Gatsby” with tracks from an array of modern musicians — Florence Welch and Lana Del Rey, plus Kanye West and the husband-and-wife duo of Beyonce and Jay-Z (the last serves as an executive producer).
Luhrmann said criticism is inevitable whenever you touch a hallowed text, be it by Shakespeare or Fitzgerald. “If you go near anything, you are going to be tarred and feathered,” he said.
Mulligan agreed that purists likely won’t be happy with the film. “I feel that way about my favorite books,” she said. “But I think people will come away witness to an epic love story.”