Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Great Gatsby Review

I read this book back in college but don't remember most of it.  Steph read it just recently and said that it was fairly similar to the movie.  I had forgotten that, on the surface, it is a basic tragic love triangle story as told by someone from outside of the web.  When you dig a bit deeper, it becomes about the dangers of excess and selling your soul.  I won't go into how I came to that conclusion because Baz Luhrmann hits you square in the face with it.  There is nothing subtle about this movie at all.  Sets, costumes, dialogue, scenes.  Everything is over-stylized to give the viewer a sense of over-extravagance.  Even the Valley of Ashes is so far on the other end of the spectrum that you can't wait for them to leave it.  I can see the need for some of that.  If over indulgence is a theme of the story, they need to translate it from the written word to the visual medium.  But Luhrmann went a bit overboard with it and it dominated the movie to the detriment of the rest of it.

That's what makes me a bit disappointed.  Even though the script was a bit campy in parts, all of the actors from the top billed right down to the bit parts did a very convincing job of delivering their lines.  Leonardo DiCaprio in particular was magnificent.  He seamlessly goes from happy party host to sinister villain to heartbroken lover and everything in between in a believable manner.  He is truly one of the best our generation has to offer.

If you like fantastic visuals that take you to a slightly different reality, this may be the movie for you.  Personally, I would have preferred a better balance but I still enjoyed it.  See it

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