Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Great Gatsby

UK Release: Thursday 16th May 2013
Watched in the Cinema: Thursday 16th May 2013
Rating: 12A
Genre: Drama, Romance
Runtime: 2hrs 22mins
IMDb Plot Synopsis: An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby's nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.

My Review: I’ve been sitting on this review for a few days as I have no idea where to start. I’m going to do my best to summarise my feelings, but I’m sure I’ll just start rambling at some point. 
Essentially, from the very beginning I knew that I was going to fall in love with this film. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, my all-time favourite director (Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge being a couple of my favourite films) and starring my favourite actor of all-time Leonardo DiCaprio and favourite actress Carey Mulligan, (as well as being soundtracked and produced by Jay-Z, the greatest musician on earth!) I knew that if there’s going to be anything wrong with it it’s not going to be in those departments! And while I have a couple issues with it (mostly pacing, and the slight departing from the books main themes) which seems to be what some of the critics are latching on to, I ultimately loved it! 
Firstly, the 3D effects were mind-blowing. Seriously, seriously good and the best use of the technology I’ve seen so far, surpassing Avatar in my books. The parties leapt off the screen and it completely felt like you were there! But I also loved the use of CGI and green screening to create the 1920’s world as it completely fits with Luhrmann auteur style, which I can’t get enough of. The colours and textures are so vivid and garish and it totally works! That, coupled with the fantastic Jay-Z and Lana Del Rey soundtrack, well it couldn’t be more perfect in my eyes. 
I think it is much more clever than people are giving it credit for, yet because it is based on one of the most well-loved (and heavily studied) American novel, it was always going to be difficult to please everyone and to summarise it in one film. For me, as someone who has seen the 70’s Robert Redford version and didn’t particuarly enjoy it and has the book sitting by my bed waiting to be read, I needed to a reinvention to lively up the book a bit. I’m part of a whole generation that doesn’t really know the book and have missed previous interpretations and so Luhrmann has definitely done an excellent job of selling it to the younger market, of which I belong. I felt that I could relate much more with the characters and understand the plot much more thoroughly with the louder visuals and music, simply because us kids have come to expect more than just some posh people sitting around talking about money. We need spectacle and fun to draw the eye and the main themes of the book - adultery, tragedy, longing and betrayal - are all there on screen for us to emphasise with. 
I loved it and I can’t wait to see it again and again, and I hope more and more people get to see it and don’t listen to some of the critics. It’s 100% worth it!

Score: 9.5/10

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