Movie Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

source: IMDb

source: IMDb

Baz Luhrmann‘s dazzling extravaganza in 3D, but the main story seems to be a flat 2D background. In the foreground was products placement: Tiffany, Moët & Channdon, and more.

I have tried to read F.Scott Fitzgerald‘s The Great Gatsby many times, and am still trying.(Update: I am reading it now, and apparently Luhrmann tried to keep film and novel as tight as possible.)

The story is fairly familiar though, and we have seen many derivatives in novels, movies, soap opera,etc: the born-rich poor, and the poor bourgeois make-rich. I think the current hottest British import Downton Abbey explains it better than anything that is out there: life of the aristocrate with little money. The fourth season will coincide with the same era depicted in The Great Gatsby, which certainly will be interesting to watch.

I have seen Baz Luhrmann‘s Moulin Rouge! (2001) at least a dozen times. it was fresh, and the mix among songs, colours, comedy, drama and Paris made it a delight to watch over and over again, but I doubt I will be doing same with The Great Gatsby: I only saw colours.

No point in going over the story again here, most likely it is required high school reading assignment, or for a first year college Eng.Lit.. (When I went, there were a lot of school kids in the theater, I bet it was their school project du jour.)

IMO, if there were less known actors in this film, I think it would have been better. Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Jay Gatsby and Tobey Maguire‘s Nick Carraway did nothing for me, they were quite dull, and at times, almost being caricatures. Carey Mulligan‘s Daisy Buchanan was ok, she didn’t crushed your heart for what she did at the end, and she should. Elizabeth Debicki‘s Jordan Baker was pretty, and I kept waiting for her to take over… no, she just sat here and there most of the time. The only actor I remember was Joel Edgerton‘s Tom Buchanan! You hate his philandering adultery lifestyle, you hate his entitlement from old money, you hate him treating mechanics George Wilson(Jason Clarke) like a fool, and his wife Myrtle Wilson(Isla Fisher) a whore, but he was handsome, masculine, violent but yet remained a gentleman, or at least gentlemanly in his actions- he didn’t punch Gatsby at the Hyatt. Perhaps, that was the problem, Gatsby was a bit too colourful (wink!), that scene where he tossed his multi-colour linen shirts and silk ties down over to Daisy in his bed or big chaise was a bit too gay for me. Straight men can hardly pick a shirt that is not white… let alone linen’s in colours, and having the whole floor with open compartmentalized closet! mustn’t we draw the line somewhere? I got it to show Gatsby was worldly, but tailored suits, beautiful time-pieces and cigars would do better, non? If to dazzle the lady, throw her diamonds and pearls, or Hermès’s scarves to add colours; shirts, really?! (well, it is how the book tells it. Really?).

Since I am down this path, what about the clandestine meeting between Gatsby and Daisy with the flowers and cakes, idea from Gatsby apparently, that was just overdone. If I were a woman, I would have run before the doors were open-why the exaggeration and grandiose? to prove Gatsby had poor taste, vulgar, and bourgeois? I don’t get it, frankly.

All I am saying, Gatsby should be a match in mind, spirit and body with Buchanan to win Daisy! (Got it- Sam Worthington should have been Gatsby!)

WATCH…I believe this was the first drama filmed and shown in 3D! and since Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is Le MUST of Am. Lit..

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3 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

  1. Pingback: Movie Review: Magic in the Moonlight (2014) | Film-o-analysis

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