Movie Night: The Great Gatsby

(via tumblr: http://haniafahmy.tumblr.com/)

Cast:

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby

Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan

Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson

Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway

Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan

There isn’t much to say about this interpretation of The Great Gatsby. You either love it or you hate. There is no in between rather only two extremes. This goes the same with the director of this film.To me Baz Luhrmann is a very hit or miss director. I loved the Moulin Rouge but I hated Romeo + Juliet. Australia was alright and well The Great Gatsby…The Great Gatsby is the topic of this blog post.

Beautifully cast, interestingly scored, excellent script, the most amazing cinematography I’m sure you can already tell how I feel about this film. As a movie I adore it. As an adaption of the book I think it was done a lot better than Romeo + Juliet but nevertheless I was not thrilled. However, it’s usage of 3D is probably what has made me love it. Baz was rather creative with the opening sequence literally allowing the viewer to feel as if they were entering in the world of the 20’s with the golden border and snow passing your face.

After watching this movie 4 times (in 3D,  without 3D, on DVD, and with the alternate ending) I have found this to be Baz’s best movie to date. He chose to focus on the relationship between Jay and Daisy based on the views of Nick Carraway as opposed to trying to encompass all of the relationships in the book (sorry but I guess every now and then I will have to reference the book).

I wish I could give this movie 10 out of 10 because the cinematography was amazing but the scoring I simply can’t stand. If you’ve seen any of the other aforementioned Baz films than you are well prepared for what The Great Gatsby was going to provide you. An older feel with modern music and for me it was tolerable until the Jay-Z song played while Jay and Nick were driving on the freeway. I was done at that point. All interest was lost and I had to force myself to focus on the script at hand.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby was depressingly realistic. I was always taught in school that Gatsby was both a villain and hero but no one in the novel was supposed to be well liked. In the film that is a completely different story. You love Gatsby and wish him all the best. You want to know what is in his past that he is hiding, what’s in his future, will him and Daisy be together? You pray that the film doesn’t end the same because there is something about this man that makes you feel for his pain. Of course this is simply Leonardo DiCaprio being an amazing actor but still something tells you there is more.

Baz paired with Leonardo DiCaprio make an incredible team but Baz paired with Jay Gatsby is a different story. As the film unfolds Jay becomes increasingly naive under Daisy’s spell. Even in the novel it is hard to believe that he is that naive but of course everything in life is up to interpretation. Baz did direct a scene in which it did seem that Jay had come to a realization of who Daisy really was but he opted out of that scene to preserve the flow of the film.

I speak of Leo (I like to call him that sometimes) as if Carey Mulligan was not equally as impressive in the film. When I first heard it was going to be her playing the role I threw a fit. I wanted someone like Natalie Portman (a girl can dream right?). Once I saw the film I completely understood the choice for Carey and am thankful that Baz went in the direction he did! Daisy was always meant to be angelic or at least appear to be angelic. Carey Mulligan’s voice and physique allowed her to be rightfully perfect for this role. Plus I can’t really imagine Natalie Portman being an angelic blonde maybe a brunette but not a blonde.

Conclusively, I am in love with this movie. It parades across the screen similar to a big party that I would LOVE to attend and keeps you watching from start to finish. Of course I hate the modern music usage but I already knew what I was getting myself into and understand his directing style. I have read rather harsh critiques on this film and completely understand where they are coming from. I just disagree. On its own this film is amazing as an adaption of the book it is mediocre. When you separate the two you realize how incredible and beautiful the story really was. Of course I didn’t realize this until after watching the movie with my parents who had never seen it. But once I did I understood what the director was attempting to do. He wasn’t trying to tell the whole story just a love story through the eyes of Nick. If he would have told the whole story there would have been a lot more Isla Fisher than I would have liked (just kidding I love Isla).

Love,

Ashley Nicole.

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12 thoughts on “Movie Night: The Great Gatsby

  1. The Great Gatsby was one of my favorite reads back in my school days… I’ve always been one of those people that enjoy a book more than a movie and that still holds true with this book/movie… I’m glad you enjoyed it though! I saw your a fan of Natalie Portman, me too girl! She is gorgeous and so gifted!

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  2. Really great review, you’ve sure thought about everything! I totally agree with you about the score – I think the music of the 1920s is SO iconic that it’s such a missed opportunity not to make it a massive factor in the way the 1920s world is created. I’m such a big fan of the book that I couldn’t quite bring myself to think the film was really good, but the production alone was enough to make it enjoyable to watch!

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    • My thoughts exactly! It took me a couple of watches and some encouragement from friends to actually be able to separate the movie from the book. But, in comparison to the book the movie didn’t come close.

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  3. I remember reading this book in high school and I finally saw the movie a couple of months back, but I just didn’t like it all that much. I’m not sure what it was, but I couldn’t get into it. Good review from you though!

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