The second adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel of the same name was this time around helmed by Baz Luhrmann, and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher & Tobey Maguire.
The premise revolves around a Midwestern war veteran, who finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.
Review: The simplicity behind the story is almost laughable, it’s been done, and it’s déjà-vu but The Great Gatsby plays its cards right. It’s starts with the execution, the directing, the photography and the acting is impressive. You can see Baz Luhrmann’s stamp throughout the film, it’s colorful, loud, and a bit in your face but it works because it fits Nick (Tobey Maguire)’s point of view. Nick’s the one telling the story, so the excess, the sensory overload, the overwhelming aspect of the fast life of the roaring 20s New York is exactly how a guy like Nick would experience it.
The director knows music and how to use it, and did an interesting job with it. The music of the past and the present are intertwined and it works. The familiarity of the present song are there but the 1920s beats takes you back and deeper into that lavish world.
The film is in its core a human story, with romance, drama, and a hint of mystery. The direction captures the themes and morals of the story really well but the actors’ performances bring it home. Tobey Maguire’s voice over and performance is nuanced,
he’s an observer and a participant at the same time in the film. Leonardo DiCaprio is at the peak of his powers, in full command of his acting abilities, he’s brilliant in this film. Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, and Isla Fisher should be mentioned because they were very good. Carey Mulligan is the one I wasn’t completely sold on the first time around – she looked too young – but watching it again I get it and understand how she could have been cast in this film.
The Great Gatsby is entertaining and quite captivating, Baz Luhrmann knows how to shoot grand epic love stories. Have you seen it? What did you think?