Saturday, 1 June 2013

Film review - The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann

The Great Gatsby (2013) (12A)
Director - Baz Lurhmann
Starring - Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Clarke

Synopsis from IMDB - An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby's nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.

I will start by saying two things, I read the book and wasn't overwhelmed, I thought I would love it but didn't really connect. I think the fact it is quite short and it told from Nick Carraway's perspective it is hard to really truly got to know the characters. Secondly I love Baz Luhrmann, he is one of my favorite directors along with Christopher Nolan.

So I knew I was probably going to like the style of this film if only because it is Luhrmann, which I did.

However, I thought the film was brilliant. It has been panned by the critics as being shallow but then isn't that what the film is all about? The characters are superficial and shallow, interested in money and what they look like on the outside. It is all about the glamour, the huge parties and the money.

Style wise it feels like Moulin Rouge! the modern day music and bold and bright colours, one big party. 

I really think Leonardo DiCaprio is a vastly underrated actor, he has been in so many good films and pulls it out the bag, hello Django Unchanined, The Departed and The Aviator, all worthy of an Oscar. As Gatsby he adds a damaged quality, you feel for him, the lengths he has gone to to get the girl he loves, almost as if he doesn't feel he is enough for her but has to have the bravado of being 'Gatsby'.

I have heard reviews that people feel Carey Mulligan wasn't right for Daisy but I think she is great in the role. The beauty and innocence that Daisy has, she is probably in love with the idea of who she was when she met Gatsby rather than him. Carey is tortured and torn, not quite sure what she wants in her life.

Isla Fisher, as always, is phenomenal I do love her.

The film is in 3d but I saw it in 2d and I don't think it took anything away from it. Also Leo looks nearly exactly the same as he did in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet back in 1996.

It is very true to the book which is good and I think made me understand the book a bit more and care a bit more about the characters,

If you love Baz Luhrmann and Leo you will love this.

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