The Great Gatsby - new take on a classic
Kiki on 08/31/2015 updated on 09/10/2015
So many good qualities in this film. Ruined by TOBEY MUMBLY MAGUIRE. And I say this as a confirmed mumbler myself.
Let’s start with some positives. This film looks BEAUTIFUL, exactly right for the period. The costuming and cinematography are brilliantly, glamourously roaring twenties. Baz Lurhmann knows the look he wants for his films, and damn does he go for it full force. Can’t help but respect that.
Leo D and Carey M are both good in their roles. I sort of expect this from Carey M, who is kind of dependably good in everything she is in. Far From the Madding Crowd was highly enjoyable. I will be seeing Suffragette for this very reason. Leo D is a good choice for Gatsby – his ‘old sport’ lines are just odd enough that it registers just that little bit, and he really brings the rakishly charming thing to the table in spades.
The soundtrack to this film is MINT. Seriously, Baz Lurhmann has such a gift for capturing the mood of a film with the perfect soundtrack (Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet) and his decision to replace the jazz of the time with the (similarly dangerously regarded) hip hop infused selection is freaking inspired. Definitely one to buy.
The one thing that endlessly distracted me during this film was the decision to cast Tobey Mumbly Maguire as Nick Carraway. I know he’s the narrator and as such, kind of a medium for the audience, but oh my god, I just find him so unlikable! And so mumbly! In the opening narration, I know he is supposed to be super depressed and whatnot (I suppose they had to add some kind of reason into the film for him to be telling the story which FINE I can accept) but I practically had to rewind it, as I could barely understand him at all.
So in conclusion, this film has many excellent qualities. It doesn’t quite match up to Lurhmann’s previous films but stands on its own through (mostly) good performances from its leads, stunning cinematography, dynamic direction and an absolutely banging soundtrack.