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As most of my family know, and quite a few members of dooyoo probably know by now, I'm a huge film buff. I haven't written a film review in quite a few years so please be gentle. I have always heard of The Great Gatsby book before and have still, even after the film, not read the book. However I believe I might after viewing Baz Lurhmann's newest creation. As a huge fan of Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet, I bought the DVD and watched it, expecting excellence. Did I receive it, we'll just read on and find out.
The Great Gatsby is a skilfully directed film which takes the guise of many genres, comedy, thriller, intrigue and romance. Baz Luhrmann takes us deep into the fun, fantastical and sometimes downright depressing time of 1920s America. The film begins with a young, dishevelled man, that most will know as the 2002 Spiderman, Tobey Maguire. He begins to tell his tale of a time in his life that was the greatest time and the worst time. Within this story he gets back in touch with his delightful cousin Daisy, has some antics with his old friend Tom and meets the infamous Jay Gatsby. I can't really delve much into the plot as it could be quite easily ruined. What I will say is that we are treated to a journey made by these characters that could be easily done by anyone in the world. We see parties galore, a few romances, a couple of punch ups and some lovely twists that made me go a bit red in the face.
I have to say, the direction in this film is absolutely fabulous. Baz Luhrmann certainly knows how to create a visual treat for the mind. Everything about this film, from its sweeping camera shots to its fading out music and colours, scream out Baz. The party scenes in particular had me and my boyfriend smiling and laughing as everything just seemed so fantastical. He blends in music superbly in this film, I can imagine the soundtrack being a rather good buy. Considering this film is about 1920s America, we listen to music by Jay-Z and Florence and the Machine. Sound weird? Well, it is a little, but strangely enough, it suited the scenes and the overall feel of the film.
How Leonardo DiCaprio hasn't won an Oscar by now, I'll never know. The man is just fantastic, he can go from being a kind, warm hearted host to a violent psycho within the space of a minute. His dialogues can get a bit tedious as his favourite saying annoyed me by the end. Tobey Maguire has made his career by playing the weedy, nervous guy and here he goes again. He plays it well and in a couple of scenes shows what he is truly capable of as an actor, anger and threats. However I feel as if he needed to show a bit more in this role. Carey Mulligan who plays the leading lady, Daisy, portrays the 'poor' let down wife rather brilliantly. She seems sweet, lovely and the woman you'd like to rescue, however there is another side... Mulligan plays this role well, I won't give anything away but her performance in the end did make me appreciate her acting skills a little more. Joel Edgerton plays Daisy's husband, which he does in a way which makes you feel slightly sorry for him but at the same time you want to give him a good whack.
The script is good, however without reading the original book material I can't comment on how close they stayed to the story. The lines flowed well, the material was believable and apart from a few annoying phrases by Leo, the dialogue was used purposefully. I thought the twists and turns and subtle manipulation by certain characters in the end showed just how confidence and speech can affect a person's behaviour and choice.
My boyfriend and I sat in pure rapture during the first half of the film, the cinematography, dialogue and pacing of the film kept us happy. I do have to say that the second half of the film was a little bit slow paced and could have done with a little more jazz that the first half had. Not that it didn't keep my interest, but I did find myself looking at the clock once or twice. Coming in at over 2 hours long, it did feel as if it could have had half an hour chopped off somewhere.
Overall I have to say that I did enjoy this film and thought the acting, direction and music of the film was wonderful. I think the second half could have done with a slight pacing difference but I thought the ending was suitably wrapped up.
Tobey Maguire Nick Carraway
Leonardo DiCaprio Jay Gatsby
Carey Mulligan Daisy Buchanan
Joel Edgerton Tom Buchanan
The normal DVD content is pretty boring, just some deleted scenes.
The Blu-ray version is a little more interesting:"Within and Without" with Tobey Maguire
The Swinging Sounds of Gatsby
The Jazz Age
Razzle Dazzle: The Fashion of the '20s
Fitzgerald's Visual Poetry
Gatsby Revealed - Gatsby's Party
Gatsby Revealed - The Plaza
Gatsby Revealed - Pool Scene
1926 The Great Gatsby Trailer
The film is rated 12 I think because of scenes of violence and I would say purely because of the mature themes set in this film, I would say the certification is correct.
Running time: 142 minutes!
Despite being an avid reader, I haven't read The Great Gatsby. Mr Mylove and I planned to go and see this at the cinema but then never got around to it, and one of my volunteers at work lent me it this week to give it a watch. As a huge fan of Moulin Rouge! and a general fan of Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet, I was really excited to watch this film.
Leonard DiCaprio - Jay Gatsby
Carey Mulligan - Daisy Buchanan
Tobey McGuire - Nick Buchanan
Joel Edgerton - Tom Buchanan
Isla Fisher - Myrtle Wilson
Director - Baz Lurhmann
Running time - 143 minutes
The story is told 'Russian Doll' style through the writings of Nick Buchanan, who writes the story up on a typewriter after the events (similar to Christian in Moulin Rouge) He appears to be living in a mental institution and receiving help for alcoholism and anger management, among other issues. As part of his therapy, his psychotherapist encourages him to write, and he chooses to write the story of an old friend 'The Great Gatsby'
Nick moves into a small house in a very rich area of Manhattan. Next door is a huge house owned by a mysterious man named 'Gatsby'. Every evening, scores of people from Manhattan flock to the Gatsby mansion to party in a highly decadent manner! Gatsby is an enigmatic figure, nobody has ever seen him but rumours abound about his background and achievements...
Nick often visits his cousin Daisy and her husband on the other side of town. Daisy is beautiful and full of spirit, but it's clear that there are problems in her relationship - namely her husband has a string of women on the side. Nick becomes inadvertently caught up with this after he is invited to party with Tom and his mistress Mrytle. Then Gatsby invites Nick to one of his parties - but why? Nobody else gets an invitation they just show up.
Luhrmann is known for bright, opulent sets, amazing costumes and bringing 21st century music to films set in the early 20th century. This film certainly matches all of these criteria! The sets are bigger and bolder than ever, the party scenes at the Gatsby mansion reminded me of the party scenes in Moulin Rouge! The usual camera angles are there, in particular Luhrmann likes to pull out of indoor scenes and pan above the city to show the wider view. This might not be to everyone's taste but personally I love it. Luhrmann films are not supposed to be subtle - they hit you in the face with a handful of glitter and a feather boa. I'd heard other people say the music didn't fit, but personally I enjoyed it. Of course flapper girls in the 1920s didn't listen to Jay Z, but the music had a 20s twang to it which worked really well to me.
In terms of the story, I felt the first hour was quite slow and not much happened. However it soon picked up and the last hour was fantastic with plenty of action. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next, and there were some bits where I genuinely gasped out loud and had to hide my eyes! My main criticism of this film was that it was too long, and I felt a lot of it could have been cut out, my partner felt the same as well, particularly in relation to the first hour of the film. However, what the film lacked in storyline it more than made up for with the beauty and style of the set.
Despite the style and pomp, the story was fantastic and was gripped. Baz Luhrmann's style could easily overshadow the storyline but this was certainly not the case. My only criticism would be that being told the story through the eyes of Nick made me feel a bit detached from the main characters of Gatsby and Daisy. In Moulin Rouge! we see the story through Christian's eyes, so we feel the love between him and Satine, however I did feel a bit distanced from the characters in The Great Gatsby.
The acting in the film was superb, but then I generally rate DiCaprio, McGuire and Mulligan so this wasn't a surprise. What was a surprise was when I came to write this review and saw Myrtle was played by Isla Fisher! I didn't recognise her at all. I usually like her as well and she did a brilliant job in this film.
Overall this is a camp, riotous film with plenty of heart but even more style and energy. Visually it is stunning and if you're a fan of Luhrmann films you won't be disappointed. It might be a bit too much for some people, and I wouldn't suggest watching it with a hangover as it might give you a headache! When Luhrmann gets it right he gets it really right, and I loved this film so much I'm going to look out for it on offer and buy it for myself so I can watch it again.
The Great Gatsby is a book I studied, as did many other students, as part of my English A level syllabus. I therefore viewed the story as the classic, traditional tale that is has been portrayed as in previous adaptations. Baz Luhrmann however has never been one to stick to the traditional. His previous modernised adaptation of Romeo and Juliet put a new spice to the old story and when he and Leonardo DiCaprio team up again, the result is no exception.
From the off the film shows a new way of looking at the story with the vibrant colours and contemporary music Luhrmann seems to aim to dispel any ideas of the innocence of the past. The parties, drinking and loose morals are portrayed in a way that brings the 1920s socialising into a parallel with the modern day.
The cast as a whole were fantastic but some performances were of particular note. DiCaprio is his usual ever watchable self portraying the title character as a classy, mysterious man who maintains the intrigue of his past throughout the film. Carey Mulligan really comes into her own; as Daisy, the love interest for Gatsby, she is the model of innocence and vulnerability. Finally, an unrecognisable Toby Macguire provides the perfect lead that leaves Spiderman long forgotten.
The plot mostly sticks firmly to F Scott Fitzgerald's novel with some minor but largely irreverent alterations. It is a story that will keep you guessing and wondering as to how Gatsby became so rich and what exactly his background is whilst making you genuinely desire a happy outcome for the protagonists.
Overall, it is a very enjoyable, intriguing and exciting film with the standout for me being Luhrmann's new, colourful and brash direction.
About the film
The Great Gatsby is a 2013 film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name and it was directed by Baz Luhrmanm. The film has a run time of 142 minutes and is rated
Nick Carraway is looking back on his life while spending time in a rehab centre. His doctor is encouraging him to talk about what got him to that place. After saying that he once wrote a book, Nick's doctor wants him to write about a memory to help him to write again and so begins the tale of how he met Jay Gatsby.
The year is 1922 and Nick has just moved to New York to work on Wall Street. The house he finds to rent in Long Island is small but just what he needs. The house next door however is massive and Nick soon learns that the famous Gatsby lives there. His house is famous for the huge and elaborate parties that are held there every week. Nick eventually receives a personal invitation to one party and hopes that he can finally meet the man he's heard so much, and so little, about. Once at the party though, Nick realises that no one seems to know Gatsby but they're just there anyway. But, Gatsby finds Nick and introduces himself and the two instantly hit it off.
Nick's cousin Daisy Buchanan also lives in New York and it turns out, she's one of the few people who actual know, or knew, Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is asking a massive favour from Nick and it's no coincidence that he invited him to that one party...
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby
Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway
Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan
Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan
Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker
Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson
Jason Clarke as George Wilson
Amitabh Bachchan as Meyer Wolfshiem
Jack Thompson as Dr. Walter Perkins
What I thought
Although a classic novel, I have never read, nor watched another film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Baz Luhrmann directed this version and so far, I haven't been disappointed with any of his films.
The film begins with introducing Nick as a main character. He's clearly in some form of rehab facility and not looking too well. Nick once wanted to be a writer but wasn't successful. His doctor encourages him to write down a memory in order to be able to write again. His memory is of Gatsby. The beginning of the film really focuses on the mystery surrounding Gatsby. Everyone knows where his house is and his parties are very well-known but no one really knows who he is or where he comes from. There are rumours flying about all over the place but nothing is concrete information. I really enjoyed the anticipation that the beginning of the film gave. Never did you know what you could believe about Gatsby. At times, you didn't even know whether or not he truly existed as no one knew anything about him. Obviously, I knew that he did and who was playing the part but it didn't take anything away from the mystery in the plot.
The Great Gatsby is said to be a love story but I'm not sure that I completely agree with that. Gatsby himself has known Nick's cousin Daisy before 1922 and is absolutely in love with her. He enlists Nick's help to be able to see Daisy once again and from here, things get quite dark and twisted. Gatsby is driven by his need to see Daisy again and to be the man he thinks she would want him to be, hence the massive parties and splashing around of money. Instead of being about love, I see The Great Gatsby to be more about pure need and the desire to make something better of yourself, no matter what the consequences are.
The casting in this film is absolutely fabulous. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Gatsby and does so with such flair and elegance at the same time. He, along with his background, has an air of mystery surrounding him at all times. He's also quite the strange character, going from one mood to another in a matter of seconds. DiCaprio was easily the perfect choice for Gatsby. His character is a hard one to play due to the many inner demons that he has and DiCaprio shows the troubled thoughts extremely well.
Toby Maguire on the other hand was a bit of a let-down. I can't say that I'm the biggest fan of his anyway but I didn't like him or his character at all. Maguire plays Nick who is a pretty whiney and annoying kind of man. He's trying to make it in New York after a failed career as a writer and generally comes across as interfering and he didn't help much in any situation. Actually, Maguire played whiney and annoying really well but I'm not sure that's how his character was supposed to be portrayed.
Another issue I had with the film was the soundtrack. Luhrmann is known for taking a classic and putting a modern twist on it but I felt as though this one was pushed too far. Jay-Z was the album's executive producer and worked closely with Luhrmann on the whole soundtrack to mix contemporary, hip hop and music from the 20s. However, the soundtrack was far too modern for my liking and I don't think that it captured the feel of the 20s well enough. With songs like Black to Black and Crazy in Love on the soundtrack, I just couldn't get away from the modern feel. However, if I were to listen to the soundtrack on its own, I would like it. It just didn't go perfectly with the film.
Overall, The Great Gatsby is a wonderful film with a few small flaws. The film is entertaining and exciting with a near perfect cast though.
This film is based on the book of the same name-which I must admit I have not watched. That being said I have been looking forward to watching this film for a while, espically as it was directed by Baz Luhrmann.
Without giving to much of the story away the film is told from the point of view of Nick Carraway, played by Toby Maguire. He is retelling about his time with Gatsby. The first 20 minuites are setting the scene for the rest of the film and I must say I was starting to get a little impatient to meet Mr Gatsby!!And then he entered and I completely swept away in the romantic tale between him and Daisy.
The main stars of the film are Leonardo DiCario (gatsby) and Carey Mulligan (Daisy). They are both excellent. This film is one of the most colourful I have seen each scene packed with detail-I wanted to be at the parties with these people and often felt like I was. Also the soundtrack that goes with the film was dare I say it agian excellent.
Overall an excellent film with a super cast and Brilliant cinematography.
The Great Gatsby is a romantic drama film based on the book of the same name. The movie was released in the United Kingdom in May 2013 and so is very recent. The movie stars Leonardo Dicaprio. The movie is a 12A which means that it must not be viewed by persons under the age of twelve unless an adult is present.
I thought that that storyline was quite exciting and dramatic. I could not wait to find out who this Gatsby bloke was. However, I did think that there was going to be some great, massive secret and so I was a little bit disappointed to find out that the secret wasn't that massive in the end - it wasn't enough to put me off enjoying the movie though. Also I thought that the movie took a very long time to get going - I noticed a few people got up and left the cinema half way through. However, I did think that the movie did get better and better as the film went on - it just had a slow start I think.
I thought that the acting in this movie was spot-on. I thought that Leonardo Dicaprio played the part of Gatsby really well. He really is a great actor and really brought the character alive - very convincing. He comes across as being really powerful and just portrays the character really, really well. I did find Tobey McGuire to be a bit annoying in this movie - I don't know why. However, I did seem to get used to him as the movie went on though.
Visually I thought that the movie was amazing. I love the whole '1920's America' so this movie was great as it was set in the 1920's, featured the flappers and so was full of glitz and glamour. I thought that sets were amazing; especially the glamorous costumes and party. So I would say that if you like the whole 1920's era then you should like this movie. I felt as though I had been transported back to the 1920's.
All in all, would I recommend this movie? Absolutely. I thought that it was a great movie - whilst I liked it, I would consider it to be a watch-once-only kind of film rather than a watch-it-over-and-over movie. The Great Gatsby is a highly entertaining movie!
I have not read the book and am therefore unable to comment on how this film compares to the book.
Thanks for reading!
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x
The Great Gatsby is a book adaptation of F.Scott Fitzgeralds 1925 novel of the same name. It is written and was directed by Baz Luhrmann and was released in UK cinemas on 16th May 2013. I had been excited about its release for a while after reading about it for several months beforehand. When the trailers got released it looked just as I expected and I couldn't wait to see it.
The film is narrated by Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) who us looking back on his past. Nick is in a rehab style centre being treated for his depression and alcoholism, and it is suggested to him that he write a book to aid him in understanding his mind again. The doctor suggests he write about a memory and so begins the tale of Gatsby. We then go back to 1922 where Nick has just moved to New York and has started a job on Wall Street selling bonds. He finds and rents a house on Long Island which is amongst various mansions, including the home of Jay Gatsby who is his neighbour. He soon learns that Gatsby is very rich and regularly throws huge extravagant parties.
Eventually Nick receives an invite to one of Gatsby's parties and after attending realises that no-one at the party actually knows who Gatsby is! This simply adds to the mystery so when he gets the opportunity to meet Gatsby Nick is very enthralled and is surprised to come across a fairly young man (Leonardo DiCaprio). Gatsby takes an immediate liking to Nick and the pair become close friends.
We are introduced to Nicks cousin Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) who is married to a very rich polo player Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) and has a daughter with him. Nick soon learns that Gatsby knows Daisy and is madly in love with her, and he is asked by Gatsby to help set the pair up. This is where the drama unfolds...
I have only written an introduction to the plot as I wouldn't like to ruin what was a very interesting storyline. Therefore there is much more to the story than the above and the majority of dramatic moments occur after this point. Essentially the film is a love story yet it would be incorrect to describe it as that since the love story itself barely gets going. It is actually much more of an intense drama, with a love story as the cause. I found the plot very engaging and felt it was carried out in a suitable way.
One of the main concepts for the first part of the film is the mystery of this man named Gatsby. There are points where one wonders if he even exists. The plot holds back on many details at the start of the film which adds to the mysterious build up. The clever part is that you don't even know which details are being held back or what things you should want to know, as it is all quite mysterious. This made for fun watching and I was immediately enthralled by the film, in the same way that the protagonist is by Gatsby.
The film is about 2.5 hours long but it went really quickly and never felt like the plot was being dragged out and there was no repetition. I suppose there were phases in the film where nothing particular happened and this was due to the film setting the scene which is always took time to do. Yet this wasn't really a bad thing as such, it was so visually stunning that I was glad that it took time to let the viewer appreciate the setting and production without something important happening at the same time.
The film has several main characters (I haven't mentioned them all in my plot summary as it would spoil the film), some of which are very different from one another, yet they all link in the end. This gave a good variation as I think a film of this length would have become claustrophobic if it had only been about 2 or 3 people. The main themes explored during the film are those of true love and its effects on a person and deception and the mess it can leave behind. These themes were the primary focus throughout the film, but it never felt like a lecture or anything too serious. Despite sounding quite serious it was actually quite comical in parts, particularly towards the beginning when not a lot of the depth had been revealed. It was never an all-out comedy but provided a few giggles which fitted in well during the first half.
I was very impressed with the casting and acting in the film. I thought all the actors were well cast in their roles and gave excellent performances. I'm already a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio and feel he can do no wrong - this was no exception. He played the unusual role of Gatsby even better than I expected and pulled off the troubled and complex character very well. I wouldn't have said it was an easy role to play, as Gatsby is a confident rich man on the outside, yet on the inside he is slightly disturbed and unpredictable. Some of the scenes required excellent acting and control and he executed them perfectly giving a flawless and convincing performance.
I was unsure about Tobey Maguire...I just thought of him as the guy in Spiderman and hadn't really noticed him in anything since so I didn't expect him to stand out alongside DiCaprio. But I was very wrong, he gave an excellent performance and perfectly captured the naivety of his character without being over the top about it and allowing it to slip into a comical routine. I really enjoyed his acting throughout the film and it left a lasting impression, giving me a better opinion of him. I also wasn't sure about Carey Mulligan. I remember her from Drive with Ryan Gosling where she gave an unusual performance which I couldn't quite decide was pulled off due to her skill or the fact that the character resembled her actual self. Whereas this character was much different and had more sides. I thought Mulligan gave a strong performance as Daisy and managed to naturally capture the various angles of the character, again without over acting.
Other performances worth noting were that of Joel Edgerton as Tom, I barely recognised him as the same man who starred in The Fighter and never would have thought he might suit a film like this or pull off the character. Yet he did perfectly well and managed to excellently portray the self-assured pompous nature of the character yet allow for the hints at his insecurity to creep in. Isla Fisher also gave a good performance as Myrtle Wilson, a lesser featured character but important to the plot.
By far the most enjoyable and memorable element of this film was the effects. It promised to be a visually stunning film and it was from start to finish. I could have enjoyed it for the effects and production alone. Every moment of the film is adorned with beautiful scenery which really enhances the whole thing and made for very good viewing. The views over the city and the scenes at Gatsby's parties were a marvel and it was all just so pretty and colourful.
The music was also very complimentary, it was produced by Jay Z and featured some of his own songs. It gave the film an interesting modern edge my clashing the modern music with the old fashioned content. This had a great effect and reminded me slightly of Romeo & Juliet where modern meets tradition in film. It made the film stand out from others.
I thoroughly enjoyed every element of this film. The storyline was interesting and engaging, the acting and casting perfect and the production and effects were just amazing. All in all it was a fantastic film well worth watching. I appreciate that it may not be for everyone but personally I really really enjoyed it and can't wait to see it again.