The Great Gatsby
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Baz Luhrmann writes, directs and produces this adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. Set in the 1920s, the story follows aspiring writer Nick Carraway (Maguire) as he moves to New York and becomes intrigued by his neighbour Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio)'s lavish lifestyle and mysterious past. As Nick finds himself caught up in the world of the wealthy, he witnesses romantic entanglement and betrayal. Gatsby's true nature is slowly exposed and his involvement with old flame Daisy Buchanan (Mulligan) ultimately leads to tragedy. The soundtrack was overseen by Jay-Z and features music from, amongst others, Beyoncé, André 3000, Will.i.am, Lana Del Rey and Florence and the Machine, as well as Jay-Z himself.
UltraViolet Expiry Date: November 11, 2015
It’s the spring of 1922 in New York City, a decadent playground of shifting morals, glittering jazz, bootleg empires and skyrocketing stocks. Chasing the American Dream, would-be writer Nick Carraway (Golden Globe® nominee Tobey Maguire) arrives from the Midwest only to land next door to Jay Gatsby (three-time Oscar® nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), a mysterious millionaire whose estate overflows with endless parties. As Nick’s beautiful cousin Daisy (Oscar® nominee Carey Mulligan) and her blue-blooded husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) fall into Gatsby’s orbit, Nick bears witness to a tragedy of impossible love and incorruptible dreams. Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s timeless epic, The Great Gatsby mirrors the struggles of modern times in a dazzling visual journey from the mind of Baz Luhrmann, director of the Oscar®-winning* Moulin Rouge.
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This Scott Fitzgerald's plot applies perfectly in our current days where love might take the back seat when faced with money, fame, and interests. A heart-palpitating movie for those who live and breathe love and their hearts pumps with optimism. Gatsby created his own positive reality, which lead to his doom, but at least he did not betray how most profound feelings and stayed course with love. It's a story of inspiration of a man who came from nothing and made himself great, he created his future from his own imagination.
What a resplendent filming and mesmerising acting. It's so vivid and real with that 90s era flashes mixed with lines stimulating thoughts about life dichotomies: fairness and equality, love vs expediency, youth vs richness. It's a great reminder of how vulnerable one can be facing their heartfelt emotions.
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
'They're a rotten crown. You're worth the whole bunch'
'So, we beat on boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past'
BUT (And Spoilers). The character of Tom is seriously toned down... you almost feel sorry for him... and that isn't right. Tom is worse than Gatsby. He does make repeated racist remarks, cheats on his wife, believes himself to be untouchable... but he was so much more of a scumbag in the books. It's the only weak link in an otherwise perfect movie. He just comes across as a bit of a drip and a product of his times and position than an actual scumbag. You should be wishing Daisy goes with Gatsby... but as it happens you just feel a bit sorry for Gatsby and can't help but think Daisy should be with Tom and that Gatsby is just a bit of an obsessive creep (Which he is, granted, but that should be eclipsed by what a monster and scumbag Tom is).
Some of the music - jazz trumpets from the balconies of houses in crowded for example works exteremly well, but some of the more modern sounding peices - people doing the Charlelston to rap for example - were a liitle incongruous for me, and for a moment blew the supension of disbelief that you need to really get into the film - they made the film making obvious for a moment or two and punctured the dream like quality,
This is small gripe though - overall I enjoyed the film and found the visuals stunning
I really enjoyed the film, and so did the buffs as it almost swept up all of the ‘AA’s for that year. It was very lavish, as was the budget at 105 million $. Whilst the audience reaction wasn’t totally overwhelming (Rotten Tomatoes & IMDb giving it around 7/10) it pulled in a massive 350 million$ worldwide.
My only criticism would be that perhaps it’s a bit overly long at 2 hours, 20 minutes. A side from that it’s a wonderful film and a feast for your eyes.
There are elements of this film which are classic Baz Luhrmann and he has such a distinctive style. Sometimes ethereal, sometimes just pretty spectacle. If you are going to create the Great Gatsby story, you need visual stimulation, solid actors and scriptwriting that can weave the story throughout. This version delivers on all 3 in my opinion (but it's just my opinion - I'm not a professional!).
I would recommend this if you enjoy big Hollywood productions like Chicago, or if you enjoy Baz Luhrmann stuff like Romeo and Juliet/Moulin Rouge.