Saturday, 8 June 2013

259, The Great Gatsby

So, knowing I don't read (much) its always an eye opener for me to see a movie based on a well known novel that I've got absolutely no prior knowledge of before watching!  Of course I've heard of The Great Gatsby but I have no clue what its about so hopefully - based on the premise that others of you will have more of an idea than me, you will understand if I have nothing to compare it too.

This story is told from the perspective of Wall Street newbie Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) who moves into a quaint little groundsman cottage just next to the sprawling mansion of Jay Gatsby (Leo DiCaprio), a wealthy American gent living it up in the Roaring 20's. 

Carraway's cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) lives just across the bay, opposite Gatsby's pad with wealthy partner Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) who is a bit of a modern day 'lad' with his mistress Myrtle (Isla Fisher) as his bit on the side and that's most of the main cast covered, albeit for the very suave and sexy best pal of Daisy's, Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki) who acts as an initial liaison between Carraway and Gatsby in the opening scenes.

The movie tells the story of how Gatsby's life appears to be an entangled web of mystery with no one really knowing who he is or was or where in deed all the money came from - obviously there are plenty of theories but we find out more and more as the story develops and Carraway and Gatsby's friendship grows. 

The love story element is that of Gatsby & Daisy with a back story 5 years earlier making an appearance as the already once lovers and the reasons for Gatsby's relocation to the house on the other side of the bay and the lavish nightly parties?  Well, A ruse to gain the interest of Daisy all over again and with Carraway being her cousin, its only a matter of time until the two are reintroduced and try once more to carry on from where once they left off.

There is no doubt in my mind that Baz Luhrmann has created a visual masterpiece.  3D is not even required and the vivid colours and fast paced showmanship of Gatsby really leap of the screen in the 2D format.  Mix the colours and pure cabaret feel with the banging soundtrack of 20's Charleston meets modern day Jay-Z (which sounds amazing) and DiCaprio on his finest form (again!) this movie should not fail to please anyone who sees it.

There are definitely two parts to this movie - the 1st half has a distinctive light hearted, slightly comedic party feel to it, peaking with the introduction of Gatsby and Daisy to one another in a hilarious turn of events that's sees our leading man return to almost an childlike attitude towards meeting girls

The 2nd half takes a far darker turn as love story starts to go a little sour and the issues between Gatsby & the Buchanon's show our cast in a far more shadowy light.

either way - both parts are seamless and crafted magnificently.  I wasn't sure if this would be my kind of movie as I'm not a huge fan of Maguire in pretty much anything but luckily - the rest of the cast totally overshadow him, with Isla fisher and DiCaprio producing stand out performances.

Still not enough to make me want to pick up the novel though so I don't know how close the movie is too the original book but as a stand alone movie - Loved it!