Title – The Great Gatsby (2013)
Director – Baz Luhrmann
Cast – Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
Plot – A lavish adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald much loved and revered American novel. The story centres upon Yale grad and World War 1 soldier Nick Carraway’s new life as a bonds salesman in New York. Nick’s relationship with his beautiful cousin Daisy and her playboy husband Tom takes a backseat when he is drawn into the world of his mysterious neighbour, Gatsby.
“I knew it was a great mistake for a man like me to fall in love…”
Review by Eddie on 6/6/2013
Australia’s own Baz Luhrmann, if there is one thing you get from him its colour, extremities and not much in the way of subtlety. It’s true that Baz sits on a pretty untouchable perch on the list of loved local directors. His films are normally met locally and internationally by high praise (the less said about the truly awful Australia the better) perhaps not always for storytelling but for creating a real work of screen art.
The Great Gatsby provided in theory the perfect match of material and director. A mixing pot of New York glamour and glitz, love and hate, murder and mystery and much use of the word “Old Sport”, everyone expected a new Luhrmann classic, the director’s true colourful opus. What we have as a final product however is really something that is nothing more but impressively average.
In Leonardo DiCaprio we have undoubtedly a Great Gatsby. DiCaprio almost perfectly capturing the essence of the character that has made the novel such a well-loved and much talked about piece of storytelling. Whenever DiCaprio is on screen you can feel and see just how close this movie was to becoming the definitive adaptation. If only the rest of the cast on screen where in the same league.
Everyone else in the movie from Mulligan’s Daisy to Edgerton’s Tom feel horribly miscast. Maguire has his moments as Nick but one cannot wipe the image of him donning his Spider-Man outfit at any given moment. Moving on from the cast the viewer’s senses are almost constantly thrown around by swooping camera shots, colourful hip hop fuelled party montages and some seriously suspect CGI work.
Saying all that the Great Gatsby almost has to be seen on the big screen, there is no doubt when everything clicks together this is a beautiful looking and staged movie. It features a standout performance from DiCaprio, a standout wardrobe and some pretty impressive uses of the word old sport.
Until the next adaptation of Fitzgerald’s work, it’s safe to say this is the most interesting and certainly most colourful screen incarnation that although impressively average is never more than intriguing.
3 Old Sports out of 5
(please note this review is based on the 2-D version of the film)