Flash Movie Review: The Great Gatsby

The haves and have nots, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, the upper class exploiting the lower class, wealthy husbands and their mistresses; any of these topics can be found in today’s headlines. They also are part of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby. Brought to the big screen by director/writer Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Australia), we saw the lavish surroundings where the wealthy play; oblivious to those of lesser means. The marketing of this movie has been intense, showing glimpses of spectacular parties, classic cars, mansions; all accompanied by a heavy hip hop beat. Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception, Django Unchained) played Jay Gatsby, a mysterious wealthy man whose life had been motivated by his love for one particular woman. Carey Mulligan (Drive, Shame) was Daisy Buchanan, a wealthy socialite married to the unfaithful Tom Buchanan, played by Joel Edgerton (Warrior, The Odd Life of Timothy Green). Set up as the narrator of this story was midwesterner Nick Carraway, played by Tobey Maguire (Spiderman franchise, Brothers). I enjoyed the performances from each actor; they did their best with what was written for them. The costumes and sets were brilliantly reproduced to reflect the era of 1920’s Long Island, New York. With such detail given to the look of this film, I found the choice of music to be a distraction. At a particular scene I glanced down at my watch to make a mental note of the time. It was approximately 50 minutes into the story before I started caring about any of the characters. I found the 1st half of the film to be bloated as it lumbered along. The last half of the movie contained most of the drama, almost force feeding it to the audience. The heavy handed way the story was told made it sag under its own excessiveness. This extravagant film could have benefitted from an austerity program. A couple of brief scenes with blood.

2 1/2 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on May 13, 2013, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Interesting comments. I felt the same way about the book. I didn’t like it in high school because I couldn’t relate to the characters or the lifestyle. We just reread it for our book club and I liked it somewhat better but I still couldn’t connect to the characters. Too much excess.

  2. I’m not allowed to speak badly of Baz (He’s an Aussie) but like a lot of directors that get their own way………… there is no one to say ‘stop’

  3. I would agree that the acting, set/costume design were the strong points of this film. I even enjoyed Tobey Maguire. However, the 3D and directorial flourishes I could have done without, they really distracted from the film. Don’t get me started on the soundtrack ;-(

    • Sorry you had to see it in 3D. For the life of me I cannot figure out why they even bothered with it. I am right there with you in regards to the soundtrack.

    • Actually i enjoy the soundtrack it’s unique in a way, normally movies like this actually have an automatic soundtrack(am sure you know what i mean) but this defy the odds and it still came out just pretty fine – very New York-ish if i may say so. Love it.

      • I appreciate your comments. The songs in themselves were decent, but they did not work for me like they did for you. Thanks for the comments.

  4. I love it, thanks for posting because I have yet to see the trailer. Finally seeing it for the first time.

  5. I have been wanting to see this one, mostly because I feel lured in by the look and feel of the cinematography and settings I have seen in the trailers. I was already a bit hesitant about it because I have never been a DiCaprio fan. Now I’m wondering if, maybe, I should wait to see it on video. Hmmmm.

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