Director : Baz Luhrmann
Running Time : 142 minutes
Release Date : In cinemas now
I wish to preface my review by stating that I am a Baz Luhrmann fan. And I am not ashamed!
The Great Gatsby is based on the 1925 F Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name. It is a tale of love, self-indulgence, mystery, illusion, love, grandeur, lies, deceit, love, love and love. Yes, yes I know there is so much more to this story but seriously, is that what we are looking for in this latest movie adaptation? And a Baz film to boot? I didn’t think so…. 😉
The story’s narrator Carraway (Maguire) is a brash, young up and coming Wall Street wheeler-dealer, trying to cash in on the seemingly endless flow of money during the early 1920’s. He rents a modest house on Long Island, right next door to the movie’s title character, Gatsby (DiCaprio). His girlishly adorable cousin Daisy (Mulligan) lives, literally, across the bay with her husband Tom (Edgerton). Gatsby and Daisy have a history, Tom has an agenda of his own and carraway is along for the ride.
This movie is unmistakably a Baz Luhrmann movie. It is lush and colourful and bright and brash and energetic and a visual feast. The opening scenes are vibrant and joyous and fun, truly capturing one of the most exciting and socially complex periods in modern history. Set on the eve of the stock market crash of 1929 and thus, The Great Depression, it captures the absolute decadence brought about by a relaxing of social conventions, prohibition and the rise of the nouveau riche
The glorious party scenes are exactly what you would expect from this movie….. full of people, full of energy and full of colour. Highly charged, sparkly, high kicking, flappers flapping *sighs* It’s just all so……..so ……. BAZ!!!
All those zooming in-flight shots familiar from Moulin Rouge swirl and swoop and zoom throughout this movie when it shows us New York City and the desolate wasteland that separates it from Long Island. Hmmmmm that’s some imagery huh? Yep. But I’m not going all deep here…..I will leave that to those who are thusly inspired to seek deeper meanings in colour draining cinematography
I knew that Jay Z was heavily involved in this production and was expecting to be overpowered but was pleasantly surprised by how well it all worked. I have fleeting memories of other music in there too but cannot pin point anything to mention. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Oh well, it is what it is …..
This movie is unmistakably a Baz Luhrmann movie. It is unnecessarily long and a bit OCD in some areas.
Baz…. editing is your friend. Endless streams of pointless dialogue gets a bit dull. Luckily my friend choose these moments to tear open a box of maltesers (YUMM) and the women behind me started to gossip loudly enough about a ‘friend’ (I do love me some bitchy bitch bitch moments shhhhhh ). I was distracted just long enough ….
Oh and don’t get me started on Gatsby overuse of the phrase Old Sport grrrrrrrr
This movie was never going to be a true retelling of the classic novel, no matter how much anyone wanted it to be. The Great Gatsby does a marvellous job of being a Baz Luhrmann movie so you will either love it or hate it. And judging by snippets of what I have seen, the split on this flick is truly 50/50.
So what did I think? I loved it. I went into the cinema knowing it was getting seriously mixed reviews and so held no true expectations either way. But I loved it ….. in all its 142 which should have been 102 minutes glory.
Oh and so why haven’t I talked more about the story and the other characters? Because that would be giving the game away entirely…. and that’s just the way this review evolved.
Please visit my friend Peter at Hush Hush Biz for his review of this movie. We are on completely different wavelengths when it comes to this one and I loved what he had to say…….even if he is wrong. Ha ha ha just kidding Peter 😉 I deliberately didn’t read his review before I wrote mine and am wondering if we saw the same movie. That truly is how divisive this film seems to be………and I love it!
Love Flick xx