Saturday, May 11, 2013

How Great Is The Great Gatsby?

This week's big premiere in theaters was The Great Gatsby. Based on the classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this is the first adaptation of the American literary classic since 2000. Directed by Baz Luhrmann and featuring an all star cast starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, this film has received mixed reviews by moviegoers and critics alike. So....here is my rundown of the film.

As far as the quality of the film goes, it was very well made. The performances, especially of Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, were commendable and convincing. Even Tobey Maguire, who I have a hard time taking seriously (especially after his performance in Spider Man 3 which was reminiscent of moody, prepubescent girl), didn't annoy me quite as much as he usually does in his films.

The music will be liked by some and hated by others. The movie, which takes place in the 1920's in New York City, was a strange mix of jazz music of the era and a sort of rap/hip-hop of today's billboards. As someone who likes a movie to be streamlined and have a consistent feel that sucks you into the story, I felt that the jumping back and forth of the music was distracting and not keeping with the feel of the rest of the movie.

For those who like a movie with a definitive plot (easily identified protagonist, antagonist, straight forward plot, etc), this movie might be a little hard to wrap your head around. If you haven't read the novel, then you will probably struggle to have a very good idea of where the story is going. The characters are complex, and it is not obvious who the "good guy" and "bad guy" are throughout the film. Some may find that the ending of the film leaves you feeling the story was unresolved.

Overall, I would say that most people are probably going to have a difficult time appreciating this film. The quality of the acting and the film overall was good, but the content may not necessarily resonate with watchers of the film. If you do choose to see the movie, I would recommend going with an open mind and to do away with any expectations you may have...that way you might be able to appreciate the film for what it is.

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