The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhmann presents a glitzy adaptation of the F Scott Fitzgerald’s bestseller following the story of to-be writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) who lands next door to old friend millionaire party boy Jay ‘Gatz’ Gatsby (Leo Dicaprio) who’s popularity comes from his endless parties. Carraway soon is witness to Gatsby’s romance to Carraway’s married cousin Daisy (Carey Mullingan).
The use of camera angles and flashbacks make this adaptation unique and making Gatsby a superior man who is only popular for his parties, such as doing long shots of his window or not showing his face until a good 20 minutes in, by that time, the characters have been introduced already. I like it how Luhmann shows both sides to a millionaire, he may have a lot of admirers and people coming to his party, but nobody knows who he actually is because he’s so mysterious and has money to cover himself up.
I have read the novella maybe twice and have enjoyed it as I love any sort of old book, but I was surprised as the film goes on and a little more of him is unraveled and makes McGuire’s character look like an outsider now that viewers have known a little more about Gatsby.
I think the soundtrack suits the film and doesn’t disrupt the movie too much. I find that it is one of the few Leonardo DiCaprio films of the last five or so years that aren’t too aimed at guys so everyone can watch it. As I watched the movie, artistic camera angles and glamorous costumes was all I thought of.. and Leo DiCaprio in a sexy white suit but never mind about that. Luhmann uses clothing and contact lenses for DiCaprio to show the difference between Gatsby and the rest of the characters, a white suit and neat hair while the others looks slightly rough.
Carey Mulligan, who played Daisy, plays every character as if she didn’t play the other role. Her costume is elaborate and I generally think she is a good actress, although some of her other films such as The Greatest were not the best. As she is one of the quieter characters (I don’t think any woman with a blue blooded husband would ever be loud at all), she shows the indestructible character through facial expressions and costume.
The only thing I should criticize about this film is Leo DiCaprio’s change in accents. It could just be my hearing or his voice was normal one moment and weird the next so it let the film down a bit and the constant change in conversation. Other than that, it is a 9.5/10.