The Great Gatsby is not a bad movie. In fact, it’s everything but bad. Baz Lurhmann does a great job on this film, and it’s everything you expect a Baz Lurhmann movie would be- colorful, and fast paced. A great adaptation of the novel, and it’s a movie that’s definitely worth seeing.
The movie, based on the same named 1925 novel by author F. Scott Fitzgerald, follows the story of Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire). A aspiring bond broker moving to New York and vising his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan), her old money and arrogant husband Tom (Joel Edgerton). Meanwhile, their neighbor, the very rich Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) is deeply in love with Daisy, and constantly throws the biggest party in New York City just hoping one day maybe Daisy will stumble upon the party. While Gatsby appears to be a wealthy, and well-educated man, it turns out that it was all an act to erase who he really was. He goes through extended measurement just so he can be suitable for Daisy. A long waited love that ends in tragedy.
Lies and deceptions are the main theme of the movie. The obvious one is where Gatsby lies to everyone in the world who he really is, but everyone else in the film are lairs and fakers as well. No one is who they really seem to be, and the world is more complicated and disgusting than it appears to be. It’s sad that while Gatsby is just an illusion, the same can be said about Daisy as well. She’s nothing like how Gatsby remembered she would be, and she doesn’t really love Gatsby either. Nick says Gatsby is the only true, and hopeful man he met in New York; I guess in many ways it’s true. Out of all the other characters in the movie, Gatsby is the only character whose actions don’t result in pain and suffering of others both mentally or physically.
The film is very visually pleasure. While the CG might seem kind of obvious from time to time, it fits the idea of this movie where things in 1920s can just be an “illusion.” I have issues with the face paced movements because it makes the film seems like soap opera, or a British sitcom. However, I understand the ideas behind the fast paced camera movements, even though it can be kind of distracting. The characters in the film might not always be in their most lucid state anyway, and we’re suppose to see things from their POV. While I may understand the reasons, I still hope the movie can slow down a bit and allows us to enjoy it more.
All the actors did a wonderful job performing their roles. But like I said, the movie moves too fast before we can really appreciate enjoy these actors. It’s hard for me to card about any of the characters’ motives, and sadly, I don’t really understand why Gatsby loves Daisy so much. Heck, I don’t even know why we should care about Nick and his horrible experience in New York. However, I have to praise Carey Mulligan on her wonderful performance as Daisy. In the book, Daisy is famous for her air-headed, typical dumb blonde characteristic. However, Mulligan successfully adds a layer to Daisy’s character where we get to better understand her struggles between Gatsby and Tom.
Another actress I want to point out is the remarkably sexy Elizabeth Debicki as the irresponsible Jordan Baker. I can never understand what’s going on in this girl’s mind, but I like it. Debicki’s performance is perfect for the role, and I’m sad that there’s isn’t more of her in the movie.
The music stands out in the film as well. The entire movie is like a Jay Z soundtracks. While some of the tracks work for the film, some turns out to be a distraction. There’re many times while watching the film, I can’t help it but whisper to my girlfriend: “I heard that this is the most popular song in the 20s.” While she rolls her eyes, I can’t help how I feel: The songs can be too much a distraction from time to time, and there’s no way I won’t make fun of it. I just won’t.
The film might have some problems here and there, but it’s a good film to enjoy. Not to forget that it’s an adaption form the novel, and if the film doesn’t follow it properly, there’re going to be a whole different kind of complains anyway.
For those of you who doesn’t like sad endings, think twice before entering the theater. Personally, it doesn’t bother me at all.