Genre: Drama, Romance
Release Date: 17th May, 2013
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Amitabh Bachchan, Jack Thompson, Max Cullen, Callan McAuliffe, Adelaide Clemens, Stephen James King, Gemma Ward
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Producer/s: Baz Luhrmann, Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Catherine Martin, Catherine Knapman
Music Director: Craig Armstrong
Plot: Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a Yale graduate and World War I veteran, is a depressed alcoholic that is visiting his psychiatrist. He talks about a man named Gatsby, and describes him as the most hopeful man he had ever met. When he struggles to vocalize his thoughts, his doctor suggests writing it down, since writing is what brings him solace.
In the summer of 1922, Nick moves from the Midwest to New York, where he takes a job as a bond salesman. He rents a small house on Long Island in the (fictional) village of West Egg, next door to the lavish mansion of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), a mysterious millionaire who holds extravagant parties. Nick drives across the bay to East Egg for dinner at the home of his cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), and her husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton), a college acquaintance of Nick’s. They introduce Nick to Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki), an attractive, cynical young golfer with whom he begins a romantic relationship. Jordan reveals to Nick that Tom has a mistress that lives in the “valley of ashes,” an industrial dumping ground between West Egg and New York City. Not long after this revelation, Nick travels with Tom to the valley of ashes, where they stop by a garage owned by George Wilson (Jason Clarke) and his wife, Myrtle (Isla Fisher), who is Tom’s lover that Jordan mentioned. Nick goes with Tom and Myrtle to an apartment that they keep for their affair, where Myrtle throws a vulgar and bizarre party that ends with Tom breaking her nose after she taunts Tom about Daisy.
As the summer progresses, Nick receives an invitation to one of Gatsby’s parties. Upon arriving, he learns that none of the guests at the party, though there are hundreds, have ever met Gatsby himself, and they have developed multiple theories as to who he is. Nick encounters Jordan, and they meet Gatsby himself, an aloof and surprisingly young man who recognizes Nick from their same division in the war. Through Jordan, Nick later learns that Gatsby knew Daisy from a romantic encounter in 1917, and is still madly in love with her. He spends many nights staring at the green light at the end of her dock, across the bay from his mansion, hoping to one day rekindle their lost romance. Gatsby’s extravagant lifestyle and wild parties are an attempt to impress Daisy in the hopes that she will one day appear at Gatsby’s doorstep. Gatsby now wants Nick to arrange a reunion between himself and Daisy. Nick invites Daisy to have tea at his house, without telling her that Gatsby will be there also. After an initially awkward reunion, Gatsby and Daisy reconnect, and they begin an affair. Shortly after, Daisy and Tom attend one of Gatsby’s parties, where Tom grows increasingly suspicious of his wife’s relationship with Gatsby. Throughout a luncheon at the Buchanans’ house, Gatsby stares at Daisy with such undisguised passion that Tom realizes Gatsby is in love with her. Though Tom himself is involved in an extramarital affair, he is deeply outraged by his wife’s infidelity. He forces the group to drive into New York City, where he confronts Gatsby in a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Tom asserts that he and Daisy have a history that Gatsby could never understand, and he announces to his wife that Gatsby is a criminal whose fortune comes from bootlegging alcohol and other illegal activities. This pushes Gatsby to his breaking point, and he has an explosive outburst of anger, much to his own dismay. After this incident, Daisy realizes that her allegiance is to Tom, who contemptuously sends her back to East Egg with Gatsby, attempting to prove that Gatsby cannot hurt him.
When Nick, Jordan, and Tom drive through the valley of ashes, however, they discover that Gatsby’s car has struck and killed Myrtle, Tom’s lover. They rush back to Long Island, where Nick learns from Gatsby that Daisy, wanting to calm her nerves, had been driving the car at the time of the accident. However, Gatsby intends to take the blame. Despite the events that occurred at the Plaza, Gatsby is convinced that Daisy will call him the next day. That night, he reveals to Nick that he was born penniless, and his real name is James Gatz. In the morning, Nick leaves for work while Gatsby decides to go for a swim before his pool is drained for the season. He asks for the telephone to be brought down to the pool, still waiting for Daisy to call. Meanwhile, Tom tells Myrtle’s husband, George, that Gatsby was the driver of the car. George jumps to the conclusion that Gatsby had also been Myrtle’s lover, and he retrieves a gun. Back at the mansion, Gatsby hears the phone ring, and believes it to be Daisy. He is abruptly shot and killed by George, who immediately turns the gun on himself. It is revealed that it is Nick on the phone, and he hears the two gunshots.
When Nick calls the Buchanans to invite Daisy to Gatsby’s funeral, he learns that she, Tom, and their daughter are leaving New York. Only the press attend the funeral, who Nick chases out. The media accuses Gatsby of being both the murderer and lover of Myrtle, Nick being the only one who knows the truth. He ends his relationship with Jordan, and moves back to the Midwest to escape the disgust he feels for the people surrounding Gatsby’s life, as well as the moral decay and emptiness of the wealthy of the East Coast. Back in his psychiatrist’s office, he finishes his memoir and titles it, “The Great Gatsby.”
Rating: 2/5 stars (Two Stars)
Star cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Amitabh Bachchan
What’s Good: The film is grand in its 3D that is exquisitely done. And Leonardo DiCaprio’s stellar performance is the only ingredient that substantiates the movie.
What’s Bad: The film has no spirit or marrow. It is just large slides of overblown grandeur randomly placed in succession without driving home any larger point!
Loo break: None
Watch or Not?: Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is a reinvigorated 3D adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel of the same name. Overall, the film is a massive disappointment as it ends up as a shallow debacle which wallows in gaiety and hoopla. The film’s marrow is hollow and mysterious which doesn’t tie up in a solid climax. It is colossally artificial and evidently dishonest and scores only for Leonardo DiCaprio’s flawless depiction of one of literature’s most irresistible heroes – Jay Gatsby! For the pros, the only breathtaking moments the film allows you are its bold Jazz music that resolute potently.
Dealing with acute depression, Nick narrates and then writes about the only man who personified the concept of hope in his life. Meeting him as his neighbor, Nick encounters Gatsby at one of his majestic fuss and feathers parties. The real reason of Gatsby’s cue to befriend him turns out to his interest in rekindling an old affair with Nick’s cousin Daisy. The story that flows is haunting tale of passion, lust, friendship and deceit, in the lives of the elite!
The Great Gatsby Review: Script Analysis
Based on one of world literature’s most celebrated works, the film is a debauchery of the film’s period and style more than its content. The story against the backdrop of 1920s’ New York is resonant of the glamorous and rising period of that era. The script itself is deemed fantastic by readers for generations; it is the director’s warped up perception that is depreciating and trivial. There are a host of problems with the film’s script, the foremost one being that Luhrmann’s Gatsby doesn’t even remotely resemble the unassailable aura that Fitzgerald had weaved mystically. The director lost his command on the film’s narrative and gets entrapped in the pompous show of gorgeous taste that he constantly harps on for the entire first part. The second part fails for being unsuccessful at conveying the layers and subtleties of the plot which makes multiple commentaries in a matter of few words!
The Great Gatsby Review: Star Performances
Leonardo DiCaprio’s depiction of grandiose is done with inexplicable taste and standard. His voice is mesmerizing; this blue eyed lad is perhaps the best thing that happened to this film. He is suave, he looks intoxicating, he has lived in the skin of Gatsby to get all its nuances so smoothly.
Carey Mulligan seems lifeless from the onset. It is hard to recognize her in the meaty character that she has been assigned. Mostly, she doesn’t qualify legitimate or convincing enough to be Gatsby’s eloquent past love he still holds dearly. Yet, I managed to claw out a few touching moments of the actress, more towards the end as her character dwindles torn between the fantasies of her husband and lover.
Despite Mulligan delivering a dull feat, in scenes, the chemistry of DiCaprio and hers manage to emit some warmth and tenderness venturing close to plausibility.
Tobey Maguire, is zealous in his stint and does it with conviction and ease. His bonding with DiCaprio remains the film’s most magical bits. The chemistry between the film’s male leads glowers as instances of pivotal stronghold for the story.
Joel Edgerton lacks the spontaneity to deliver and hence give a flat performance.
For Bollywood audiences, it is satiating to see Amitabh Bachchan play Jewish mafia lord Wolfsheim so ecstatically and glamorously. You’ll end up famished demanding more of his notoriety.
The Great Gatsby Review: Direction, Music and Editing
Luhrmann’s Gatsby is calculative, misplaced and abrupt. The scriptwriters have managed to merely work on the book’s synopsis, forgetting to detail the characters at all. However, it does manage to catch the main plot’s mood of hurtling and ornate frames. Beyond that the narrative with its flimsy characters steals away the power of its climax. The camera work deserves a strong mention for meticulously building the New York of the 1920s so believably. The music is stellar and breathtaking. However, it is the needless use of 3D that adds to the film’s insensitivity and artificiality. The sense of sorrow that DiCaprio manages to evoke with his acting prowess is flushed with all the fakeness in the film.
The Great Gatsby Review: The Last Word
The Great Gatsby is a perfect example of all phantasmagorias and no substance. Quoting Fitzgerald for their rescue in an attempt to save their loose screenplay, the film barely invokes a few heartfelt moments. Eroding the power of a classic, it is only Leonardo DiCaprio who delivers magnanimously. If you can withstand pompous show, you wouldn’t mind this. But if you are a lover of the novel, it is advised you to refrain from watching it! I am going with a 2.5/5 for this one.Its lack of tenderness, beauty and subtlety butchers the script at the altar of grandeur which just did not work for me!
The Great Gatsby Trailer
The Great Gatsby will release on 17th April, 2013.
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