May 25

Film review – The Great Gatsby (2013)

Film review – The Great Gatsby (2013)

The Great Gatsby

Rating: 4/10

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Clarke, Amitabh Bachchan, Max Cullen, Adelaide Clemens, Brendan Maclean, Jack Thompson, Gemma Ward, Callan McAuliffe, Gus Murray, Stephen James King, iOTA, Jens Holck, Alison Benstead, Joel Amos Byrnes, Chris Proctor, Kate Mulvany, Kim Knuckey, Conor Fogarty, Sam Davis, Tasman Palazzi, Edward Midgley, Gareth Hamilton-Foster, Vince Colosimo

Directed by: Baz Luhrmann

Review: Film review – The Great Gatsby (2013) – Nick Carraway played by Tobey Maguire is an alcoholic in a sanatorium. He speaks about a man he once knew called Gatsby and his doctor urges him to write his thoughts down as part of his treatment. This film tells that story.

Having moved to New York in the summer of 1922 Nick rents a small house on Long Island in the (fictional) village of West Egg. He finds he has moved in next door to a large mansion owned by Jay Gatsby played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Gatsby is a somewhat mysterious character who holds a large number of very extravagant parties. Across the bay in East Egg Nicks cousin Daisy Buchanan played by Carey Mulligan and her husband Tom played by Joel Edgerton live in a similarly large mansion and from a distance the two over look each other. The film follows the entanglements of these characters plus Jordan Baker played by Elizabeth Debicki an attractive female golfer.

For a detailed breakdown of the plot I would advise you read the book before seeing any of the films.

3D: This was my first encounter with 3D and its likely to be my last. The technology is poor and really only suitable for children who will be amused by the zazzy effects its provides. Its gimmicky feel acts as a constant barrier between the viewer and the film. The requirement to wear silly glasses (over glasses in my case) acts as a further barrier and on top of that there appears to be a limitation of the technology which requires the tonality of the film to be destroyed in order for the 3D effects to work. Thus it is like watching a film made entirely in the dark.

The Great Gatsby in 3D: I can’t in all honesty think of a more stupid thing to do. All of the beautiful subtlety available to the director from the book has been sacrificed for a gimmick that will die faster than it took to create. Two dreadful decisions were made at the beginning of this project. One was the choice of Baz Luhrmann to be the director and the other was to make it in 3D.

If you’ll take my advice you’ll read the book or watch the Robert Redford film version. This is a gimmick, a monster created by studios desperate for profits from a technology that doesn’t work. That said, I think Tobey Maguire makes a great Nick Carraway and I feel sorry for him that it had to be in such a turkey. Leonardo DiCaprio is less convincing as Gatsby I’m afraid but would surely have done better with better direction. I’ve given the film Four out of Ten because I think perhaps in 2D it might be better and reach the dizzy heights of Six out of Ten. I’ve deducted two points for the 3D nonsense.



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