The Great Gatsby – Review
‘The Great Gatsby’ follows would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his party giving millionaire neighbour, Jay Gatsby, who lives across the bay from his cousin Daisy. However, Nick soon bears witness to a tale of impossible love, obsession, madness and tragedy.
‘The Great Gatsby’ is the latest film from Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet & Moulin Rouge) is a razzle-dazzle adaptation of the much-loved novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Firstly let me be clear by saying that I have not read this novel so I can’t comment on how well it has been adapted. The film however is a visual feast that has Baz Luhrmann’s lavish hallmarks all over it. It’s an excessively stylish story that encompasses romance, mystery, scandal and tragedy. With a backdrop of New York in the 1920’s drenched in decadent parties, glitz and glamour juxtaposed with a modern day rap and hip hop soundtrack really does take your breath away. However, once the confetti has settled and the champagne has run dry the film becomes bloated, far to reliant on style and completely lacking substance.
Leonardo Di Caprio as ‘Gatsby’ shows that he just goes from strength to strength, as graceful as ever and utterly infectious to watch and the same can be said of Carey Mulligan (Daisy). Unfortunately it is Toby Maguire (Nick Carraway) that seems like the odd piece of the puzzle that just doesn’t fit the picture looking completely out of place. Despite the gorgeous cinematography, flamboyant sets and stunning costume designs, it can’t quite help the film feel slightly hollow and anticlimactic which also fails to engage viewers on an emotional level.
Similar to Gatsby himself, the film is tantalisingly beautiful and attractive which entices you in but when all the layers are gone you are not left with much else. By no means great, but two brilliant performances from Mulligan and Di Caprio along with the impressively lavish stylised visuals will make it worth a watch.