Friday, May 17, 2013

The Great Gatsby Review

I'll start off by staying this movie isn't great per se, but it is  good. But The Great Gatsby (or rather The "Good" Gatsby) was indeed beautifully stylized to perfection.  It was like being in a dream filled with immense soft, glowy, vibrant colors, fancy costumes, outlandish parties and dazzling set designs. The decadence of this film is to the extreme. And the whole style, at times, overcomes the lack of substance.

I've always been drawn to 's work, and whether the main plot is note worthy or not (in this case not so much), his films are still one huge senceary-overlouded rush.  Some might get a headache watching his movies, but I find them intoxicating. The novel’s themes of excess and delusions were ripe for a visual reinvention  (enter Baz Luhrmann). Without his magical touch I don't think I would have enjoyed this film at all. Luhrmann was able to transform F. Scott Fitzgerald classic into one hip and happenin' tale with one amazing soundtrack.   

I was taken back when Warner Bros. moved its 3D Gatsby from the award-seducing Christmas release date to a later summer slot.  Usually when this happens it's because the film simply... well sucks. But the more I thought about it the more sense it made to move this “splendid mirage” to summer.  After all the film takes place around summer time.

We find our Midwestern main character, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) become entangled with his wealthy neighbor Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who in turn will stop at nothing to pursue his one true love, the shallow beauty Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). As always Leo gives yet another spell-bounding performance, along with the rest of the cast.  But even with those "great" performances and Luhrmann's spin, the film as a whole still manages to fall short of its "great" ambitions.  It leaves you feeling cold, weary and somewhat disgusted.  But there's something about it that's hard to entirely resist, and the more I think about this movie the more I fall in love.
RATING: B 

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