Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Based from the novel The Great Gatsby written by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, the 2013 The Great Gatsby movie was the fifth film adaptations of the said book since 1926. The most recent Gatsby film was casted by Leonardo Di Caprio as Jay Gatsby and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, of whom I could say, were well fitted for their roles. They both did a great portrayal here, especially Leo, who had excellently brought Jay Gatsby to life from the most dominant to the least details of him. It wasn’t a surprise at all that Leo had given us here a marvelous act, aside from the fact the he was my teenage crush, nothing could be really denied about his greatness as an actor. Like in his other movie performance, he had given his self away here in The Great Gatsby to provide room for the role he would be playing, which is the role of Jay Gatsby – who was distinguished for his peculiarity, sophistication, lavishness, and mystifying charm. Leo had justified the sometimes firm and sometimes dithering attitude, the presentation of sugar-coated personality and the bared one, the unmatched passion and effortless charm that all contained in Jay Gastby’s unpredictable nature.

The film as told in the book concerned the story of young millionaire Jay Gatsby and his undying love for Daisy Buchanan. The entire story was looked through the perspective of Daisy’s cousin, Nick Carraway who was also the narrator in the movie. By following in precise details on what were being described in the novel, the viewers would surely enjoy the extravagant sights of the gaudy and fanciful Long Island where Gastby’s mansion was located.

The developments of the characters were carefully made from the physique features to the clothing fashion and the manners that should be acted. Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker here were depicted as perfectly as they were described in the book – satiated with grace and elegance, Daisy and Jordan were the perfect epitome of the sweetest and posh ladies who belonged in the superior society of their era.

The film was created to be a complete parallel movie version of the book, delivering the story through Nick’s views. This brought both the good and limited effects though – good to the sense that the film balanced the standpoints of the audiences, who were seeing through Nick’s spectacles. Nick was the type of person who tried to reserve his judgments for as long as he could stand it – and this in turn, influenced the audiences’ notion as well. However a balanced viewpoint quiet has the tendency to spoil the emotions that are being built up along the progression of the movie. Also, the narration style limited the film on its great potential to bring the chronicle in its stunning climax, because it somewhat subdued the supposedly peak of the story. Nevertheless, that was really how the story went in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, and the filmhad just followed  it accordingly.

I have watched the movie first before I got to read the book. After I finished the novel I noticed some parts that weren’t included in the movie’s ending – appearance of Jay Gatsby’s father and the funeral scene that really made me feel so heavy at heart while I was ready it. Maybe, if they have included it in the film as well, they could have done probably a more sensible ending because the father’s appearance and statement in the novel had shown small but significant details on the other side of Jay Gatsby’s personality.

For this wonderful movie inspired by one of the most remarkable piece in the history of literature, I will give it a rate of 7 Espresso Shots!


Opening in quiet an odd style, Deconstructing Harry started with a scene of a woman coming down a cab but the frame was set in a backward and forth repetitions for several of times. It actually made me think that the movie copy was corrupted or the movie player wasn’t working well but then when the motion finally proceeded to the next scene, it occurred to me that the whole thing was just a part of the treatment.

photo courtesy of wikipedia
Deconstructing Harry was directed and starred by Wooden Allen himself. It was the story of a successful writer named Harry Block who drew inspirations from the people he knew. This would later caused Harry several effects in varying level of extremity, like for his one particular novel that was blatantly based to his real life affair with his wife’s sister Lucy. Lucy was the one seen in the beginning of the movie, confronting Harry of his works and on how did it affect her relationship with her fiancĂ©.

There were lots of flashback series along the movie. Also, several of the significant portions on Harry’s novels were being demonstrated as Harry recalled and discussed it with his therapist or with his friend. It quiet showed the deep connection that Harry had with the stories he wrote and with the characters he developed therein. This was another sort of Woody Allen’s work, wherein you would find yourself all eyes and ears to the entire movie that was a mix of flashback and present, and a combination of real (Harry’s real world) and unreal (Harry’s fiction world) situations.

Like all other Woody Allen’s movies, Deconstructing Harry explored several themes that were associated with Jews, psychological issues, and the social influences on human behavior.

Woody Allen as Harry Block
The movie was an intellectual yet amusing demonstration of the writer’s (Harry) psychological struggles, which affected his relationships with the people around him. The film looked through Harry’s personal life, invading its privacy and revealing to the audiences that in spite of his career success, Harry was just another human with lots of flaws and shortcomings. Like everyone else, he was also suffering the consequences of his mistakes and failures in life, though he has been trying to patch things up according to his basis of the right-things-to-do.

photo clip from the movie "Deconstructing Harry"
There were also moments wherein Harry was being confronted by all the characters that he had created. This gave the impression that all the characters in a book were merely pieces of the writer’s soul who breathed the fictional life in a fictional world. The book characters, in one way or another were reflections of the writer’s subconscious self, and this statement worked not only for Harry Block but for all the writers out there.

Deconstructing Harry had the entertaining twists and turns that would set you into outburst laughing and then in all of a sudden would make you empathizing with the main character. If you have seen others of Woody Allen’s movie, you would notice as well that he had a great fondness for creating a main character with inclination to writing just like in the films Midnight in Paris and Annie Hall wherein the main characters were also writers.

Woody Allen is such a laughing deity who always impart to his audience a fair amount of laughing potion and a great share of substantial thoughts. For this movie that was nominated for Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, I will give a rate of 8 Espresso shots!