Plot – A writer and wall street trader, Nick, finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbour, Jay Gatsby – The Great Gatsby.
Director – Baz Luhrmann
Released – 2013
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book is one that most people have read or at least heard of during their lifetimes, standing as one of the great American novels. Not just because of Fitzgerald’s smart and nuanced writing style but also because of the harsh criticism it pointed at American high society in the early twentieth century.
Making The Great Gatsby an arduous task to capture on film, but a task that director Baz Luhrmann managed wonderfully with his 2013 audio-visual feast for the senses. The extraordinary cinematography shown in the film gives The Great Gatsby a breathtaking visual edge that doesn’t exist in the original text.
Luhrmann’s talented camerawork and his use of vibrant colours and extravagant visuals help to convey the opulent lifestyles of the American upper-class. And while the use of re-imagined modern music may put some viewers off, I found them to be exciting and fit the story’s themes perfectly.
With the acting, once again, DiCaprio is outstanding, easily breathing life into Fitzgerald’s tragic hero, effortlessly capturing both his charm and misery. Similarly, Edgerton exceeds expectations as the entitled and arrogant Tom Buchanan.
As for Mulligan as Daisy, I found her to be perfect for the role, capturing the emotional turmoil and vulnerability with no trouble. It was only Maguire’s Nick Carraway that I found didn’t fully live up to the source material. But this doesn’t take enough away from the overall quality to stop The Great Gatsby from being a stylish, well made and entertaining 142 minutes of escapism.