Synopsis: Read on IMDB
Should you watch this movie? If you read the book you will have to watch to see how the characters and settings compare. If you didn’t read the book, well, first read it, otherwise you will not find it interesting at all!
Nick Carraway is a writer from the Midwest who comes to New York City in the spring of 1922 taking a job there as a bonds salesman. He rents a house in the Long Island, in West Egg , right next door from a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby. The house happens to be right accross the bay from Nick’s cousin Daisy and her old-money, philandering husband Tom Buchanan. Nick is soon immersed in the world of the super rich, which not as bright and glamorous as it seems.
Right off the bat you know it’s going to be pretty hard to make a movie out a book dubbed “the great American novel”. No pressure, Mr. Lurhmann (in case you are not aware, Baz Luhrmann directed this movie). Casting-wise, I really liked the choice of actorsas they seem pretty fitting of the characters the portray. Leonardo Di Caprio plays a good Jay Gatsby, something I never thought I could say about this guy (remember how this guy still looked 17 years-old until about 2 years ago?). His best friend in real life, Toby Maguire plays Nick Carraway, the lovely Carey Mulligan plays Daisy Buchanan, Joel Edgerton plays Tom Buchanan. All three play a pretty convincing bunch. Isla Fisher plays Myrtle Wilson, which I wasn’t too convinced about because she is just too pretty for the role, but she was still good. Jason Clarke was also way too hot for Mr. Wilson.
You have to give props to Baz Luhrmann for making such a visually stunning piece. The Roaring Twenties have never looked so good and I can finally understand the hype of all things 20s around the time the movie premiered (at Cannes film festival. Need more glamour?). The modern soundtrack blended well with the film and gave it a more pop culture appeal (as it is typical of other Baz Luhrmann’s movies). However, it all comes down to how the story translates the tone of the book. I’m not particularly fond of the way it was displayed. The movie stays true to the events of the book, sure it cuts down a couple of scenes and takes some artistic liberties in others, but a lot of adaptations have done so and it’s fine. But generally speaking, I found the scenes forced and the story not flowing the way it does in the book. It didn’t generate the same emotional response the book provides.
So it’s a bit hard to tell and I’m torn. On hand, the story is not as compelling as in the book with average performances that on the other hand do fit in the characters F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about. And then the beautiful visuals…. It really evokes a certain glamour and excitement to what the 1920s were all about.
I’m still confused….
Paola’s mood after watching this movie: