Confetti cartwheels through the air and champagne corks explode across the dance floor as one of Jay Gatsby’s infamous parties ignites in front of the audience’s eyes. If only the entire movie captivated the audience like Gatsby’s parties enthralled his revelers.
The Great Gatsby, directed by the infamous and eccentric Baz Luhrmann, is the best cinematic effort to date in capturing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book; however, it still falls woefully short in doing the novel justice.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great aspects to the movie including some of the acting, most of the music and many of the cinematic techniques, but the “somes” and the “mosts” are exactly why this movie falls well short of five stars.
However, there is one star—Leonardo DiCaprio—who continually shines on the big screen, and once again he doesn’t disappoint.
DiCaprio artfully portrays Jay Gatsby’s character as he seduces the audience with Gatsby’s suave personality that masks the dark emptiness he keeps hidden within. Despite whatever awful accent DiCaprio is attempting, his knowing eyes and impeccable smile capture Gatsby perfectly.
DiCaprio’s impressive acting is not the only memorable part of the movie. Rapper Jay-Z creates an outstanding and memorable soundtrack for The Great Gatsby that resembles a five-layer bean-dip, mixing various genres of music together to create the perfect blend of electronic, rock, hip-hop and jazz.
Despite the many positives of the film, the casting of Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), who is supposed to represent the ultimate prize, is a major disappointment. Mulligan is out-acted by the porcelain-skinned Elizabeth Debicki, who plays her best friend Jordan Baker.
In fact, Luhrmann seems to interpret Daisy Buchanan’s role completely wrong, dumbing her down into an indecisive woman, rather than the careless heartbreaker Fitzgerald creates in his novel.
Many people who leave The Great Gatsby will not only feel unmoved by most of the acting, but will also leave with the uneasy feeling that they have just watched a repeat of Luhrmann’s 2001 movie Moulin Rouge!
Within the first 30 minutes, there are so many similarities between Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby that my jaw dropped. Whether it is the troubled writer looking back on his life, spoken words displayed upon the screen, miniature landscapes flying back and forth or the dialogue itself, Luhrmann shows that he can only direct one type of movie.
Overall, Luhrmann’s creative vision for The Great Gatsby is entertaining and provides many thrilling moments with the rawest of emotions, but it seems like he forgot to submit his screenplay to Turnitin.com to check for repeated dialogue, bad acting and incorrect analysis.