Review | The Great Gatsby

I went to see the Great Gatsby last night. I realise I’m a little late to the party with this one, but last night was the first chance I had to go see it, and wow, oh wow, I loved it.

If you don’t want to know what happens, look away now.

Firstly, this film is very Baz Luhrmann, it’s very flash, loud, over the top and fabulous. But if Baz isn’t your thing, you probably won’t enjoy this film (my friend hated it!). But if you loved Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet I think you’ll enjoy this.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby

The film sticks to the book very accurately, which I think is great. I hate it when books-into-films ignore the books (such as the Harry Potter films!) The stand out performance in this is Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. DiCaprio is one of my favourite actors of all time, I think he is incredible and here he does not disappoint. He captures the endlessly hopeful Gatsby brilliantly; his devotion to Daisy despite her selfish ways and the pain he feels when he starts to lose control. His performance was filled with so much emotion, I shed a tear for him at his end; his portrayal is a great testament to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s protagonist.
Joel Edgerton is wonderful as the selfish, brutish Tom and Carey Mulligan’s Daisy is carefree, sweet, false and fickle, just as she should be. Tobey Maguire is questionable… he’s not the best and it doesn’t help he is the narrator… thankfully, the other performances make up for him.

I loved the special effects. The zooms in and out of West and East Egg and New York City are exhilarating and visually stunning. Although, my friend who I saw Gatsby with, hated this. I also thought the old 20’s footage interspersed with the modern, CGI footage was great; I liked the contrast a lot.

There is brash contrast between the 20’s New York scene and the very modern music score. At first, I found this a bit weird but after a while I totally got it and really enjoyed Jay Z, Lana Del Rey and Beyonce singing the score. The use (and omission) of these brilliant songs created amazing tension which I think made the film. Also since watching the film I can’t stop listening to Lana Del Rey’s Young and Beautiful (above).

Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and Jay

Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and Jay

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. For me, the sign of a good film is how long afterwards I keep thinking about it – and I dreamt about Gatsby last night. I loved the book so I was keen to see the film and I think it was a great tribute to the book. I can see why some of the reviews are mixed, if Luhrmann isn’t your thing, you’ll probably hate this film, but I loved it.

Go see it! Check out the website for more pictures, music, video etc.

Have you seen The Great Gatsby? Did you enjoy it? Leave links and comments below!


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