Baz Luhrmann has returned with another lavish adaptation of a respected book of F. Scott Fritzgerald ‘THE GREAT GATSBY’, reuniting him with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobery Maguire, Isla Fisher, and Joel Edgerton.
Straight away with this film, is the fact that it is visually stunning. It is like as if Luhrmann has channelled the artistic energy of ‘Romeo + Juliet’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ and ‘Australia’ to make a this film. Shot on what appears to be 48frames (however I could be wrong – but the detail certainly gives you the impression with how imposed the background really is), everything is presented as a Jack Vettriano picture. This is seen, almost to the time the film is set in, as a image of what could be seen as the future. Cars run at hundred mile-a-hour (like a electric car), every man and women look like some type of 40’s pin up, and then there is the strange artistic merriment of adding contemporary pop/rap music to the period piece (point in case ‘Moulin Rouge’). Now this is all fine, but to me while technically it is a marvel, it just seems a little too much, it feels like as if it detracts from what arguably is a short story. It will work in getting younger audiences to experience this story, but to me it feels like they are doing it, for the sake of doing it. Audiences who love the 1970’s Robert Redford version could very well rolls their eyes. Still though thinking about the audience it is clearly targeting, you can easily forgive its style of having the line deliver been given at a lot quicker and concise way then compared to that 70’s version.
If there was any real issue, it would be the fact that the film is far too long. In the second half you do start to notice how the plot has been stretched, as there is a lot of wondering around, plot holes become more apparent, and character do not appear to develop any further (point in case Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke) all contributing in making the second half of the picture come off as ‘style of content’. Still thought there is good performances – DiCaprio is great, more so Maguire and Mulligan. Again the film is about personal tastes, this is something catering for a different audience (you can tell just by the fact Warner Bros released this in the Summer Blockbuster season of 2013). It is something, despite the faults should encourage the younger audience to read the original novel. So again nothing to ‘Great’, but it is nothing horrible neither. It does think itself better than its audience at times, but it is certainly a new interpretation which will stick with you (no matter what you think) for a while.