Friday, May 10, 2013

The Great Gatsby Review - 3½ Stars

I love it when a movie arouses both positive and negative passion.   Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann’s new “Great Gatsby” fits that bill as many critics will hate it while audiences I predict will love it.   This reworking of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel showcases Leonardo DiCaprio as the fabulously wealthy golden boy obsessed with the girl who got away—Daisy Buchanan as played by Carey Mulligan.  She’s beautiful and vapid (the character not the actress) and displays that quality that makes Gatsby obsess.  Now married to a brute – played beautifully brutishly by Joel Edgerton – Gatsby hopes to talk Daisy into leaving her husband’s old money palace and moving into his new money palace.   The story arrives courtesy Tobey McGuire, whose whiney voice gets a little annoying, but he’s the supporting character in this story so I buy it.  “Gatsby” the movie isn’t so much about the plot as about retelling a classic with a rich mix of music, image, and writing. Hip hop blends into Gershwin, typewriters fill the screen with Fitzgerald’s words, the images come at us in 3D—the result is a multimedia feast..  Luhrmann can’t quite sustain the pace, so occasionally “Gatsby” sags, but not too often.  “Gatsby” had me from the moment Leo walked on screen and turned around to face us with a gleaming smile as George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” soared on the sound track and fireworks exploded in the background.  What more do you want?  Does it deliver what it promises?  Multimedia retelling of a literary classic.  Is it entertaining?  Vastly.  Is it worth the price of admission? Yes.  Now I think I’ll re-read the book.