‘The Great Gatsby’ 2013

‘The Great Gatsby’ 2013

Director: Baz Luhrman

Starring: Leonardo Di Caprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire

‘The Great Gatsby’: A return to classic Luhrman style but missing the soul of the novel. Having studied and written on ‘The Great Gatsby’ in my English Literature degree I can say that as an adaptation Baz Luhrman may have missed the point of the Fitzgerald classic, but as a stand alone Luhrman film ‘The Great Gatsby’ is gorgeous, frenetic and truly ‘Luhrmanesque’. Baz is the perfect director to capture the glitz, glamour and spectacle of the novel which he did salubriously but another director was needed to find the film’s soul. Getting Baz to make this film is like getting an alcoholic to make a documentary on alcoholism, you get the glorious highs but the larger truth isn’t fully realised. Of course Luhrman isn’t interested in reality he is interested in creating a Luhrman-style of film making and if anything his film is an audacious, grand, trashy opera, addition to his filmograhpy not as good as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or ‘Moulin Rouge’ but way better than cringe-spectular ‘Australia’. I loved the costumes, Sydney based locations including Rivendell and Santa Sabina, the soundtrack, and the tempo. Where the film faulters is convincing us of its reality and of Fitzgerald’s truth, particularly about the character of Daisy and the tragedy of an age. He may have read the book but really the book read him. 7/10

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