Film Review: The Great Gatsby

The name of a film that I would like to write a review about today is “The Great Gatsby”. The director is Baz Luhrmann and this movie was made in 2013. The original literature is one of the most famous novels in the history of American literature, and it is also known well to people all over the world. This time, a director is popular and known as a person handled “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge”. Perhaps the evaluation seems to be polarized depending on whether you like or dislike the outlook of the world made by him. The world and atmosphere which are created by him are absolutely unique and some people perceive them too gorgeous.

The main character and also as a narrator of this story is Nick (Tobey Maguire) who is working at an investment bank company in New York. He buys a house at West egg in long island. There is Gatsby (Leonardo Wilhelm Dicaprio) who has a magnificent mansion next to Nick’s house. He always holds fancy parties at his home every weekend. However, no one has seen Gatsby and just a rumor of himself is spreading. Nick starts to know about Gatsby because he is invited to a party, and Nick gradually has discovered Gatsby’s history which is related to a woman called Daisy (Carrey Mulligan) who is rich and beautiful lady comes from wealthy family. Gatsby and Daisy see each other again and he tries to get Daisy back, however Daisy also has complicated relationship with her husband Tom (Joel Edgelton). He is also rich but has affair with low class’s woman Myrtle (Isla Fisher). And the conflict with Gatsby and Daisy’s husband Tom will have a tragic end.

If I gave stars for this film, I would give 3.5 stars. It is absolutely a love story and texture of the film is fancy in terms of the visual. If you tried to convey the 1920s American atmosphere of the madness called jazz · age in exactly the same atmosphere, we would feel the clothes and music at that time are old and historical. However I think Buzz Luhrmann was very cleverly arranged them. While faithfully reproducing details of clothing and townscape details, various parts are slightly exaggerated like more colorful and vivid. On the other hand, the atmosphere of the story is gritty. It is said that this film represents the American dream in 1920s. United states was in a great booming economy after WWand this situation was called “Roaring Twenties”. For representative example, young women were enjoying their own lives as “flapper” who were a new type of women neglecting social norm which had been required for an ideal woman in the United States.  However, this booming ended suddenly because of Wall Street Crash in 1929. “The Great Gatsby” depicts this fragile generation of United States into a miserable man Gatsby. American dream is expressed Gatsby himself, because he made great prosperity as a celebrity without hard work. Although he was basically from a low class, he gains huge amount of money by illegal jobs in order to get Daisy back. However, at the end, his mind to pursue money kills himself. Though his succeed in terms of money seems American dream, there are message from F. Scott Fitzgerald who is an original author of this literature that miserably and physically disastrous result would come because of the mind to pursue wealth.

The plot was not so hard to follow and all actors played well. However, there are a lot of CG effects and too fancy cloths which make actors play weak. The tempo of the storyline is fast and sometimes I cannot afford to feel sympathy to specific characters or situation. There are big differences between the other “The Great Gatsby” made in 1974 and one made in 2013. Previous one was trying to express the feeling of the air itself of 1920s. And also it was conveying the hidden innocence of Gatsby and the feelings of Daisy through the nuanced performance and music.

I think I can recommend this movie as a motivation to study American literature for beginner or for people who have no idea about American literature. Anyway whether you have knowledge about American history and literature or not, you will be able to enjoy this movie from some perspectives like visual, atmosphere, and story.

– Fukino

Picture from: 7e6b92f7-bd4d-4ba3-b629-faacbc2c1b0b.png


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