If you haven’t heard about this movie, then you must have been under a rock. The Marketing/Media blitz for this movie was INSANE. Every show had this movie in its commercial.The movie is yet another adaption based on the popular book with the same name, this time written and directed by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge) and starring Leornado DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey McGuire, Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher. Before I go ahead, I should note that I have not read the book or rather maybe I have since it was a high school requirement but I remember nothing about it, so no comparisons in this review, just strictly based on the movie.
I want to describe this movie as a love story, but I am hesitant to, as this “love” seemed one sided. The basic plot of the movie is about multi millonaire, Jay Gatsby and his love spanning many years for Daisy Buchanan. Daisy and Nick met and had a relationship many years ago but somehow it didn’t work out and Daisy ends up marrying Tom played fantastically by Joel Edgerton. Gatsby decides he is ready to rekindle his romance with Daisy and throws lavish parties at his equally lavish house in New York. Attended by any and everybody, he threw each party hoping Daisy would attend. His plan not working, Gatsby becomes friends with his next door neighbor, who happens to be Daisy cousin, Nick (Tobey McGuire) and a plan is set in motion and so sets the plot of the movie.
What did I think of it?
Contrary to most people and critics, I quite liked the movie. I admit, I wasn’t expecting much and I was compelled to see it because I am a fan of Baz Luhrmann visuals. I want to call this movie a love story but I am very hesitant to as the “love” seemed quite one sided. It almost seemed obsessive on Gatsby’s end. The performances were just okay. I was expecting the worst with Tobey McGuire, because he just always has a dry aura to most of his characters. Remember that episode in friends when Ross says hi and Joey says, “This guy says hi and I just want to kill myself”, I feel that way about Tobey McGuire. But as the movie went on I have to say in this case, it worked and was good casting. I admire Carey Mulligan but she didn’t have much to do in this movie or rather didn’t do much. Leo was normal Leo, good as always and playing intense as best as only Leo knows how to. But the best performance for me came with Joel Edgerton as Daisy’s philandering husband. He embodied the character and brought it to life very well.
I was not disappointed by the visuals. It was such a beautiful sight to behold from angles to vibrant colors to fantastic wardrobe. I definitely see Oscar nominations in the costume category for this movie. Everything was so over the top and you could feel the lavishness of the parties through the screen and I just wanted to party with them and knew I would have a good time. The soundtrack/music produced with help from Jay Z was very apt and went very well with the movie. I was particularly taken by a scene where a Jay Z song was married to a jazz trumpet song playing in the scene. It was the ultimate characterization of what the soundtrack was about – modern hip hop infused with twenties jazz.
Despite the storylines being a little scattered with not much of a resolve, I would still recommend seeing the movie. On a personal note, I have to say the romance between Daisy and Gatsby kept reminding me of Olivia and Fitz from the TV show “Scandal”. The parallels between both couples having this alleged feverish love for each other that drive them to do impulsive things just made me think how even though it was based in the 20’s, the emotion is still the same. Love still makes people do unexpected things. Two strong characters otherwise(Olivia and Gatsby) but when it comes to love, they become mush. But I digress, I’d recommend seeing the movie and if you happen to wait for it to come out on DVD, do yourself a favor and watch it on a big screen.