Friday, May 31, 2013

At the Movies: The Great Gatsby (2013)

On Monday night the hubby and I had the pleasure of attending a gala screening of the Great Gatsby in 3D at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter. You can read more about the night here but now I will come to the crux of the night and review the film itself:

I absolutely adored The Great Gatsby. After waiting over a year for the movie to come out I had high expectations but the film blew any expectations I had out of the water. It was so much better than anything I could possibly have conceived.  Baz Luhrman created a visual spectacular so stunning that I dare not blink lest I miss a single millisecond.  Purists and historians may nit pick about the historic accuracy of the film but the movie capture the essence of the Jazz Age with all its excess

The movie was told from the point of view of Nick Carraway who was convalescing at a sanatorium after the events of the book and was writing the story down after advice from his doctor to do so. These writings become the book of The Great Gatsby thus melding together the character of Nick and Fitzgerald himself which is a nice touch considering Fitzgerald based the character on himself.

When I initially heard about the cast of the film I had some reservations but these turned out to be completely unfounded as every actor was perfectly cast. Leonardo DiCaprio whose acting prowess has only come to my attention in recent years made the quintessential Gatsby with exactly the right mix of Oxford educated gentleman, flawed and dishonest bootlegger and poor middle western boy hoping and dreaming for a better life and another chance at love.

Carey Mulligan was an actress that had escaped my attention up to this role. She played Daisy with a sardonic humour that hid the pain that her husband's infidelity caused her and made the character so likeable that, even knowing the story as well as I do, I was still genuinely shocked when Daisy chose Tom over Gatsby and didn't attend Gatsby's funeral. This made Nick's observation that "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made" all the more poignant.

Tobey Maguire was perfect for the role of Nick being boyish and wide eyed enough to pull the role off and Elizabeth Debicki made the perfect Jordan Baker, cat-like and elegant she was the epitome of a jazz age woman.

The movie was all the better for being in 3D. Baz Lurhman's dynamic style lends itself so well to 3D. Overall
the movie was truly magnificent. If The Great Gatsby is considered Fitzgerald's magnum opus then this movie may just be Lurhman's. I implore you to go and see it dear readers.

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