I said three months ago that the CG compositions of 1920s Times Square in Baz Luhrman‘s The Great Gatsby are spot-on, and now these new shots of NYC and surrounding environs indicate all the more than the visuals are going to kill if (and this is a big “if”) they’re not too CGish. I first read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book in my early 20s; I started to read it again in the ’90s but I got bored or distracted by something. I’ve just decided I’m going to crack it open again.

Repeating: “My second reaction was to wonder why Luhrman cast a 70 year-old Indian actor, Amitabh Bachchan, to play a Jewish gangster associate of Jay Gatsby‘s, Meyer Wolfsheim, whom F. Scott Fitzgerald based on Arnold Rothstein. Even if you mentally erase the fact that all big-time gangsters in the 1920s were either Italian, Irish or Jewish, the idea that an Indian guy could rise to the top of the big-time crime world of New York City in the early 1920s is, in itself, absurd.

“So Luhrman gets it almost exactly right in terms of the movies playing in Times Square from the spring to fall of 1922, but he gets it wildly, flamboyantly wrong with the casting of an Indian actor pal as Wolfsheim. Which feels to me like two minds within the same person working at cross purposes, which indicates trouble for the film.”