The Great Gatsby Reviews
The reason I'm giving this 3 and a half stars is because of the wonderful costumes and set and the exquisite cast.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: As ever with this guy, I might have liked some time off from the whirring camera movements and the dazzling visuals to just take a step back and appreciate the more touching moments of the story, or indeed the more pertenant themes the source material adresses far more effectively.
VERDICT: Whilst a little much at times, Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby is as enjoyable as it is dazzling, and we'd be foolish to think those things can't go hand-in-hand.
In the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz, bootleg kings, and sky-rocketing stocks, would-be writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) chases his American Dream by leaving the innocently quiet Midwest for the bright lights of big city New York City.
In early summer, Nick rents a house in Long Island, across the bay from his cousin Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) and her philandering blue-blooded husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton). Adjacent is a mansion owned by the mysterious, party-giving millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio).
Promptly joining the islands prominent social-circle, Nick is captivated by and drawn into the lavish lifestyle of the super-rich, bearing witness to their extremes of illusion, love and deceit. Through the cracks of Gatsby's nouveau riche existence, Nick is inspired to pen a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams, obsessive madness and high-octane tragedy.
An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, The Great Gatsby as relevant now as it was originally in 1926, holding the proverbial mirror to our own modern times and struggles. Visually a fantastical spectacle of beauty, from people to costumes, settings and locations, these cinematic tools hold viewers at arm- length, never allowing you to be profoundly moved or even feel the beat of films heart
DiCaprio is perfect as Gatsby, always striking the right balance between showy and disturbed but seems at times somewhat denied his own dramatic choices. Mulligan doesn't find the mark between vulnerable and overt as easily, and lacks passion with her leading man. Maguire's role although rather wimpy and insipid is carried off by his sheer belief in the character.
The Verdict: Sadly, the press' foreplay of hype was to the films detriment. Whilst listening to the departing crowds, there was an obvious sense of disappointment, a longing for an emotional movement that never came and a general sense of disconnect as the director hid behind the excess that threatened to overwhelm.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 31/05/2013