The Great Gatsby

the-great-gatsby-movieDirector: Baz Luhrmann
Writers: Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce. Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Released: May 2013
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke

Visually, this film was MIND BLOWING! This is Moulin Rouge! on steroids.

The party scenes are phenomenal! The lights, the atmosphere, colours, fashion, music… It is ground breaking. Just beautiful sets, like we’re being sent to another world.


The overall feel of the movie is very similar to the likes of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Edward Scissorhands (the garden scenes) and of course, Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet. I think it’s because all of these movies are fantastical and out of this world.

THE GREAT GATSBYleoThe actors were very convincing, Leonardo DiCaprio gave another ground-breaking performance. Although his accent was a little confusing on occasion, his dialogue was incredible! I feel like speaking formally, like an upper class person from the 1920s now.

Gatsby: Come on, old sport!

I wasn’t expecting much from Toby Maguire, and for a while believed that Ewan McGregor could have done a better job, until it was mentioned to me that his “pluckiness” was what made his character convincing. Which, I thought was a good point.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Carey Mulligan, but I have to say she did a pretty decent job in this film – her eyes are incredible! Like, she plays such a depressed character, and her eyes tell you that from the first scene. Carey Mulligan has since become one of my favourite actors.


The music was perfectly selected. Florence + the Machine’s Over Your Love is my new favourite song at the moment. But, the coolest track was Lana Del Rey’s 1920s Jazz version of the popular Young and Beautiful.

However, there were some major disappointments.

This is a film that is based strongly on characters. They fuel the story almost conclusively. Therefore, it was so disappointing that I did not become attached to any of the characters. I was not rooting for or against any of them – I didn’t feel like I had gotten to know them properly.

People are complicated, these characters were not, considering it was such a ‘people story’. Too many of their thoughts and emotions were not portrayed clearly. Most of the time there was a lot of emotion without obvious reasoning behind them.

tobey_maguire_in_the_great_gatsby_wide_wallpaper-t2I was forever looking too deep into the plot, expecting complicated and unforeseen twists. When in fact, the plot is too easy to figure out. I think it is supposed to be very mysterious, which was not portrayed in this film.

They should have kept the audience one step behind – like in the Sherlock Holmes films – until the end for a huge “I did not see that coming!” moment.

I wish the character development was more insightful, and the plot line more curious and unexpected.

carey-mulligan-wasnt-on-the-original-wish-list-of-actresses-to-play-the-part-of-daisyNevertheless, as I said at the beginning, the aesthetics were simply candy for the eyeballs. It enforces the idea that Baz Luhrmann was the ideal director for the film; the parties, grand interior shots and wonderland-esk exterior shots, simply gorgeous.

Oh, I bet Baz Luhrmann could have done an amazing version of Alice In Wonderland

Jodie’s rating: 6.5/10

About NZ Film Freak

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. Currently working in marketing, and writing fiction in my spare time. I love to write about movies on this blog when I can. I also do paid reviews and voiceovers via Fiverr (nzfilmfreak).
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