F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel “The Great Gatsby” has been retold on film many times over the years and some have entertained, while others have fell short. After many years missing from the silver-screen the captivating Jay Gatsby is back and this time with budget hovering slightly over $100 million.
This film boasts a solid cast, the trendy 3D visuals, a youthful soundtrack and a coveted summer release date. The result was a success as the film earned a large profit worldwide including taking home two Academy Awards.
This was a beautifully shot film with what seemed to be no shortage of attention to detail. From the stunning settings and backdrops, to the props, cars and wardrobes, nothing about the appearance of this film was less than perfect. This one was a little long in run-time but the writers used every minute to tell the detailed love story, in a well structured and intriguing fashion. There was a steady pace and many moments along the way that captivated the eye, and the storyteller in all of us. The scenes flowed perfectly from one to another and the story-line played out with minimal flashbacks and was truly entertaining from beginning to end.
The cast was exceptional and Leonardo portrayed a perfect vision of the Gatsby character. I am not usually a huge Tobey Maguire fan but he delivered in my opinion the strongest performance of his career and was quite possibly the silent star of this DiCaprio-based project. All the characters were well represented and with the solid writing manage to deliver some realistic time-period dialogue without slipping modern slang in from time-to-time. DiCaprio’s portrayal of Gatsby was solid and highly entertaining but there were a couple moments where the interactions felt much the same as his character from the “Titanic.” But they only delivered more of an ironic chuckle, and did not hinder his excellent work in this film.
The additions of the visually dominating backdrops gave the film a comic-book feel at times but seemed to serve as a nice addition to the story. The cinematography was excellent and brought new angles into the drama genre to add some appeal to telling a traditional tale. The one thing that seemed out of place was the hip-hop themed soundtrack that was reoccurring in the first-act.
It didn’t really hinder the enjoyment of the film at all, but it just felt forced and extremely out of place for the story that was being told. Fortunately as the film progresses past location set-ups and character introductions and the story begins to evolve, the musical score of the film stays relatively reminiscent of the era, other than the lavish party sequences.
The over-the-top parties at the Gatsby Mansion allow great opportunities to unleash the current day 3D visuals that are fun to see and are well done. These couple scenes and a few other minor additions such as weather elements and some of the car sequences are all the layering this film has though and if you cannot see this one in 3D you will not be missing too much. Overall this was a highly entertaining film that has a little bit of everything and even those who may not be too much into the drama flicks, this one is still a great watch.
Time: 143 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language)