I spent my Saturday evening being enchanted by Baz Luhrmann’s latest film, The Great Gatsby.
In all honesty, I was unsure of what to expect. I’ve read conflicting reviews and wasn’t particularly charmed by the trailer but within the first few scenes of watching the movie, I knew I could add it to my list of favourites. Right from the very beginning the camera flew by with a frankly booming soundtrack. The breathtaking cinematography brought the story to life but still managed to keep an essence of fantasy. What’s more, within seconds of seeing DiCaprio, I was blinded by the glitz and glamour of Gatsby himself.
In my opinion, Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the greatest actors of our time. I found DiCaprio showed the audience another mesmerising side to him and I for one was hooked. After watching him in only a few months ago in Django Unchained as a ruthless and deranged individual, I was so impressed to see him as Gatsby – the deluded romantic.
The Great Gatsby made me want to party like a flapper girl, made me want to be swooned by such a romantic… but it ultimately made me feel heartbroken by humanity. It had some hilarious scenes in which the entire audience was laughing but it had some seriously sad moments. The parallels of bright lights in the city being brought to Gatsby’s home with his elite parties to it then being a colourless and lifeless haunt was contrasted wonderfully. I also found the decline of Gatsby brutally honest as it showed how love can be dangerous and uncontrollable to an individual.
The relationships between each of the characters was played superbly. I found myself laughing away at Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) being drunk for the second time in his life and also when Gatsby was so peculiar with the littlest of details (namely the flowers and cake!). Not to mention Tom Buchanan’s (Joel Edgerton) chauvinistic streak and Daisy’s (Carey Mulligan) enchantress ways. However in contrast, the amount of sadness and drama really captured me between each of the characters as they fought their trials and tribulations. It seems the facade of secrecy in which Gatsby mastered, was mirrored by each of the characters beneath their classy clothes and charming attitudes.
The characters and visually stunning effects do not only take you on a journey – the soundtrack carries you through and expresses the edgy tone of the movie. I found at certain points, I was dancing along to Jay Z and Beyonce in my chair – wishing I was at a 1922-come-2013 Gatsby party sipping a cocktail. Other times, I found the music spoke a thousand words and really highlighted some beautiful moments.
Having not read the book or seen the earlier version of the film, I was watching it through ‘fresh’ eyes. I found the plot thickened at certain points and enjoyed the twist and turns of the storyline. I feel at certain points it could have expanded and delved into the story a little bit more. In fact, I actually wish it was a longer film as I just wanted it to continue so I could live their life and escape my reality.
I think films are truly wonderful when we can relate to them. Now I’m not a multi-millionaire (and unfortunately probably never will be!), but I could relate to each of the characters. From Gatsby being delusional about love to Daisy being annoyingly indecisive and Nick as a loner – it was so easy to relate to their characters.
I believe the plot to be a great storyteller of life. We can learn a lot about society but also ourselves as it highlights how nothing appears to be what it really is. I feel inspired by The Great Gatsby as it makes me maintain my optimism that I’ll be the one to make my own fate. Although, as I’ve reminded myself from this heartbreaking film there is only so much we can control before the past comes back to haunt us.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past…”
(F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Overall, as I’m sure you can guess I loved it and really couldn’t recommend it enough. If you do go and see the film, let me know what you think of it!
Gatsby… The Great Gatsby of course!