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on 27 June 2014
I initially didn't want to see this film. As someone who formerly disliked a lot of Baz Luhrmann's filmography with the exception of Romeo and Juliet, I thought that him adapting F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel would be a cataclysmic failure. It was only after rewatching Moulin Rouge recently that I changed my mind about watching this film. Moulin Rouge recently became one of my new favourite films and I was interested in indulging myself in watching The Great Gatsby. This film, whilst not great, does remain an ambitious and intriguing adaptation of the book with Luhrmann's own style integrated into the story. Despite the mixed reception this film got, it has been popular with audiences and one of the most underrated films of last year.

One of the best aspects of The Great Gatsby is the casting. Pretty much every actor equips themselves well into their roles and they all suit their characters. Leonardo DiCaprio is perfect as Gatsby, completely capturing his suaveness and charm as well as displaying his insecurities, particularly when discussing his past or when pursuing Daisy. Carey Mulligan does great work as Daisy and conveys the character's selfishness well. Joel Edgerton is great as the imposing and unrestrained Tom. Tobey Maguire is probably the weak spot but even his role as Nick is impressive and plays the role of observer very well in the story. Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke also make the most out of their smaller roles.

One of the central criticisms of the film is Luhrmann's use of modern day pop and RNB songs in a film taking place in the 20s. Whilst employing the use of jazz music in some scenes as well as Bach, he also uses hip hop tunes for some of the party scenes as well as songs from Lana Del Rey, Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas. The soundtrack is questionable at first but as the film progresses, you get used to it and some songs do blend well with the scenes they play over. 'Young and Beautiful' by Lana Del Rey is used well in a montage scene between Gatsby and Daisy and Jack White's cover of 'Love is Blindness' by U2 also works well in the car accident scene. Some may be put off by the soundtrack if they want a more accurate re-enactment of 20s New York but it works in keeping with Luhrmann's style of the film. Another film that employed the use of modern day soundtracks in an old setting was Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained which received more positive recognition.

The only problems I have with The Great Gatsby are mainly that at times Luhrmann's style does tend to overrun the integrity of the novel. Whilst Luhrmann is a quality filmmaker, he does have the tendency to go style over substance on many of his projects particularly Australia. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed his Romeo and Juliet adaptation, it did feel a lot like a music video at times and Great Gatsby also has that feeling. It's not a major problem because the film does retain the original ethos of Fitzgerald's book but it keeps it from being completely satisfying.

The Great Gatsby is a very underrated adaptation of the book and worth checking out if you've read the book or if you're a fan of Luhrmann's work. The cast are terrific, the style of the film works great alongside the story and the film is also stunning to look at. Luhrmann really did a terrific job replicating 20s New York and it works greatly. Whilst not flawless, I still really enjoyed it and it should be admired for its ambition. 8/10
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on 19 December 2013
I would start by declaring my love for Baz Luhrmann. He deliciously breaks all the rules with story telling brio.

This is a delicious retelling of a hoary old chestnut. Gone are previous wholesome Gatsbys of stoic men and hysterical women. Here we see the rotten neurotic core in all its glory. Even Toby turns in his most nuanced performance. Dicaprio's anti-hero is wonderful. Broken, obsessive, delusional and utterly compelling.

If you love Baz, you'll adore this gem.
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on 17 January 2015
Fitzgerald would be very impressed - this film follows the book very closely, down to the furniture and precise mannerisms of the characters - much of the script comes directly from the book.

All the sets and costumes look spectacular on Blu-ray, the acting is top-notch.

My only criticism is that it could have been better edited in the later part of the film - it did drag in a few points. Also, I still can't see Tobey Maguire as anyone other than Spiderman.
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on 1 June 2015
drawn out, repetitive; lacking dialogue.. great casting and scene setting, and worthwhile watching; but could have / should have been somuch better; it's filmed with a romantic notion and romantic dialogue which is slowly drawn out instead of being dynamic and intriguing , party scenes with not much interaction.. disappointing overall.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 June 2013
Firstly, please do not let the title of the review fool you - Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" is not just a visually stunning production, it is a great piece of cinematography, wonderfully adapted script and first class acting by the leading cast as well as all the extras. Mr Luhrmann's is one maverick of director, who never shied from over the top productions, and together with great (truly fatastic!) acting by Leonardo DiCaprio and the amazing soundtrack recorded by the most famous names in the contemporary pop - this is a miracle recipe for the greatest Gatsby!

"The Great Gatsby" is visually striking, which is no more and no less that we've come to expect from a Baz Lurhmann's film. Lurhmann never held back from producing and directing stunning works of art. But, compared to his previous works (perhaps with the exception of Romeo + Juliet [DVD] [1996]), which were beautiful and entertaining, but somewhat lacking depth, "The Great Gatsby" has all the important components of a great film.

Lurhmann's attention to detail is admirable, the Scott Fitzgerald's book is read through the cinematography, the director is faithful to the writer's work. Baz Lurhmann is truly pushing the envelope in portraying the overblown madness of the twenties' glamorous living. You can feel the craziness, you experience the insanity, the hysterics, you are living for the day. But beyond its themes of wealth and craziness and obsessing on living for the moment, "The Great Gatsby" is a wonderful, beautiful and tragic love story. It's a twisted romance. It's an instant classic.

DiCaprio is amazing as Gatsby. He is charismatic and charming and dark and complex and so in love with Daisy. DiCaprio shines in this role. But then, the whole film is one shiny experience. Everything is perfect, from Miuccia Prada's design of period outfits (beautiful creations!) to another one of Lurhmann's trademarks - the very best of contemporary music to compliment the cinematography - it all blends organically, resulting in a beautiful, grand "Gatsby" the film.

I urge you to see "The Great Gatsby" in the cinema (while it is still showing, in 3D) to fully appreciate how mind-blowing this production is!
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on 28 March 2014
New York,1929. Bond-seller Nick Carraway, in a sanitarium for depression and alcoholism, is persuaded by his doctor to write a therapeutic account of what put him there. Nick's journal describes how,seven years earlier, he had moved to a tiny house on Long Island adjoining the sumptuous mansion owned by enigmatic neighbour, the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby. After attending one of Gatsby's legendary parties Nick is asked by Gatsby to arrange a meeting with his cousin, Daisy, now married to the brutish and philandering Tom Buchanan, who was Gatsby's true love, prior to war service. As Nick complies he comes to see that Gatsby, once a poor boy, has recreated himself as a fascinating millionaire purely to win Daisy back but the events of a drunken afternoon conspire to bring about an ending which is anything but happy.

Superbly directed by Baz Luhrmann with a great cast, great writing, the great gatsby is a great piece of cinematography and visually stunning production, especially with the parties, film starts off mysteriously and keeps you watching throughout to the tragic ending.

Overall, "The Great Gatsby" is a fantastically entertaining and enthralling film. Great watch. Enjoy!
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on 18 October 2014
Bit of a nothing film really. Not sure why I watched this film all the way until the end but kept thinking something good was going to happen. It never did!
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on 16 May 2014
Baz Luhrmann's use of popular music, rap and modern dance set in a period drama was very original in Moulin Rouge because it suited the bohemian story of Toulouse-Lautrec, who was a pioneer of the new and decadence at the same time. The art scene in Paris during the 1920s was experimenting in the unconventional. So to implant that style into a story about dangers of excess could work, but in The Great Gatsby it fails utterly because none of it felt real. The use of CGI is reminiscent of the Star Wars prequels. There was so much of it that it lost all resemblance to normality. This was a 1920s that no one would recognise. In the inability to believe what you see is real than any character development or sympathy went out of the window. It could make for a spectacular music video but for a feature film it lacked soul, depth or interest. Leonardo DiCaprio was the only saving grace. The narration by Tobey Maguire is awful and Carey Mulligan phoned it in.
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on 21 July 2015
Based on the novel of F. Scott Fitzerald, "The Great Gatsby" directed by Baz Luhrmann is mixing contemporary styles of music within the world of 1920s, and some of the visual dynamic features in the storytelling are definitely not pre-21st century, which reduces the link with the original and authentic. However, the main theme of the novel is kept intact and the actors have done their job well.
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on 6 January 2014
I was looking forward to seeing an updated version of the Redford movie and of course seeing how the classic and beautiful book would be adapted. Good, God; what an awful film. Massively over stylised; if you're looking for a definition of style over substance, this is it. It is all very strange. Good (and great) actors give dire and wooden performance, the whole think has the air of amateur pantomime and perhaps worst and most mystifying of all a movie set in the 1920s when some of the most exciting music ever made was being written and performed is ruined by the inclusion of rap and dance music!

Avoid like the plague.
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