Skip to main content

Featured Post

Amazon's Black Friday Sale Begins: See What's On Offer

Amazon's Black Friday Sale is finally here. Here are some of the best deals on now.
We've had our fingers poised over our keyboards long enough in anticipation of Amazon's Black Friday Sale, which went live at midnight and will last until 25 November.

The Great Gatsby Movie Review

The combination of Baz Luhrmann - he of the "spectacular spectacular" - and the current trend in 3D filmmaking is a match made in cinematic heaven. Throwing the story of "The Great Gatsby" into the mix, however, turns out to be less of a success. The director's unique ability to mash-up genres and influences makes F. Scott Fitzgerald's story of the mysterious Jay Gatsby feel at once amplified and minuscule.

Mr. Luhrmann brings to life 1920s New York as only he can - with sweeping establishing shots, wild jump-cuts and a soundtrack that's a potpourri of jazz, hip hop and everything in between (courtesy of Jay-Z and some famous pals). As in the novel, the film finds hapless, struggling writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) moving out to Long Island to to be a bond salesman. His neighbor, it turns out, is the titular tycoon (Leonardo DiCaprio) who's prone to throwing lavish parties that are the movie's energetic centerpiece. Mr. Luhrmann stages these bacchanals as a kind of proto-nightclub scene where music pounds, champagne flows, confetti falls, and every night ends with a fireworks display. This is where Mr. Luhrmann is at his most comfortable; the party sequences make those of "Moulin Rouge" look positively quaint. And it's here that the director uses 3D technology in a way that's entirely his own. The scenes have a palpable quality to them - you're as close to being in the moment as any filmmaker could hope.

Less effective, though, are the longer expository sequences, many of which seem taken verbatim from the novel. Across the bay from Gatsby's mansion live Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Tom's a racist and womanizer, and Daisy seems resigned to her fate with him. That is, until, she meets Gatsby with whom, it turns out, she has a history.

Despite the novel's legendary status and ostensible commentary on excess, the core of the story is a bit of a soap opera. And it's here that the film struggles. As Daisy, Carey Mulligan is radiant, but her character is too much a function of the plot to ever coalesce into a sympathetic figure. Likewise Mr. Maguire's Nick starts out strong but his role as narrator and observer holds him back. Nick's over-used voice-over, and dialogue that's too on-the-nose ("I'm empty inside, maybe that's why I fill my house with so many things"), make his scenes feel as staid as the parties are vibrant.

Casting Mr. DiCaprio as Gatsby makes perfect sense - as did casting Robert Redford in the stilted 1974 version. While he's never comfortable delivering the character's signature "Old Sport", Mr. DiCaprio is able to find more of a character in Gatsby than Mr. Redford's enigmatic portrayal. This Gatsby wears his insecurities on his pink-hued lapels. In fact, his initial meeting with Daisy is played for outright comedy.

Oddly, it's Tom Buchanan, the abusive cad, that comes out most memorable in the film, thanks to a well-modulated performance by Joel Edgerton. The actor brings a period-appropriate quality to the role and, despite his significant flaws, comes off more true to himself that the phonies with which he surrounds himself.

If certain scenes from the film appear to be lifted from the Redford version, it's possible that there simply aren't many other ways to approach the material. It may be time for this much-adapted novel to sit on the shelf for a while, until a time when it can be truly reinvented. The story has been told and retold to the point of parody. Our obsession with it would appear to be, ironically, reaching a point of excess.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

Amazon Echo Plus (Second-Gen) Review

The second-gen Amazon Echo Plus is shorter, louder and better-looking than ever. What's not to like? Here's our review.
Should I Buy The Amazon Echo Plus (2nd-gen)?
The new Echo Plus offers a radical redesign compared to the original, ditching the plastic body for a fabric mesh housing that helps the speaker blend into the home environment. It’s not only better-looking either, as a larger speaker and tweeter provide improved audio quality and Dolby Play 360 audio support helps fills the room with music. What’s not to like?

Oppo RX17 Pro Review: Hands-on

We had time with Oppo’s new RX17 Pro. It may be blue and purple but how different is it to the similar OnePlus 6T and is it worth your time?
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
Oppo has made a solid mid-range phone in the RX17 Pro. Build quality is premium, fast charging is industry-best fast and the display is of high quality.But the price is high at 599€ considering the OnePlus 6T with a better processor starts at £499/€529. And while functioning as it’s supposed to, ColorOS is still unrefined for the western market with far too many changes to Android to recommend over competitors.

Google Pixel Review

Not everyone wants a phone with a big screen, but most small-screen phones compromise on performance and cameras. Not so with Google’s latest flagship Android phone: Here’s our Google Pixel review.
Joining the ranks of the Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel are Google’s new Pixel phones. We’re reviewing the smaller 5in Pixel here, but you can read our separate Pixel XL review if you’re after a bigger phone.

Nest Thermostat E Review

The Nest Thermostat E is a no-brainer in the US, but it's a trickier sell in the UK thanks to a price that's much closer to the similar third generation Nest
Should I Buy The Nest Thermostat E?
The Nest E is a great smart thermostat that’s comfortably among the most stylish and easy to use on the market, but as it stands in the UK, there’s not much reason to opt for the E over the existing 3rd gen Nest, which has some extra functionality for a similar price.It's a different story in the US though - a bigger price gap makes the E an easy recommendation if you're in the States.

Like Fan Page