I was a bit skeptical about seeing The Great Gatsby movie. I got bored with the book and ended up putting it down. It failed to grab my attention. The main difference with the movie is the sense of drama that is portrayed on screen. I didn’t get that from the book. The director, Baz Luhrmann, had done an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere and translating it to the big screen. I didn’t know a lot about Baz Lurhmann but when I read up about him I wasn’t surprised to find that he had directed Moulin Rouge. It has a similar sense of style about it.
The cast are excellent. My sole experience of Tobey Maguire is in Spiderman and I didn’t love him in that. I was pleasantly suprised by how well he plays Nick Carraway. I love how Dicaprio portrays Gatsby too. Just enough panache with a dash of vulnerability. It was enough to make me like Gatsby and even feel for him by the end of the movie.
I felt that the story was secondary to the staging of the movie, the set, the designs, costumes, characters. It portrays the over-indulgent, hedonistic 20s but as well as glamourising it, it also shows the darker side and the consequences of the careless pursuit of pleasure above all else.
In some respects I felt Gatsby was a victim of this, Daisy’s plaything and in the end he paid for this with his life. Daisy was an unlikely villainess. Maybe she didn’t intend to treat Gatsby so badly, maybe she was just thoughtless but even so, all she seemed to care about was her pursuit of pleasure. Her actions after Gatsby’s death were pretty appalling too.
All in all, a great film. One I’d thoroughly recommend.