Friday, 24 May 2013

"The Great Gatsby" by Baz Luhrmann

“I wasn’t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.”

The sea. A green light shining from the other shore. Perkins Sanatorium.  New York. A man talks to another older than him.

So is the beginning of “The Great Gatsby”, directed, co-written and co-produced by the Australian Baz Luhrmann. This prestigious director has just directed four more feature movies apart from this one, and the four of them are prominent: “Strictly Ballroom”, a version of “Romeo and Juliet”, “Moulin Rouge!” and “Australia”. Moreover, he has experience in theatre, advertising and performance.

The movie is a diegetic tale told by Nick Caraway from a sanatorium. It is the story of how he met his neighbor Gatsby. That story starts at the prolific city of New York in the summer of 1922. Gatsby dwells one of those mansions of the new wealthy people, or probably the mansion for excellence, where the entire city attends every week to celebrate parties full of luxury, ostentation and magnificence. However, it seems like nobody knows the real Gatsby; they just know myths about him, and that Is why Nick will try to unveil that mystery and their lives will cross until the end.

Regarding the topic that can be deduced from that plot, the movie makes a reflection about both the past and the old age. Furthermore, other topics are also treated, like love, luxury or the sin.

Regarding the cinematography, it can be said that in general it attracts the attention of the audience from the beginning until the end. It is a skillful and perfected direction, although there are some shoots that seem more slovenly. The staging is rich and radiant, like the story it tells. A narrative resort that is used in several occasions is the lapse of time, since it is a story of the past told from the present. For that it is necessary the use of flashbacks and flashforwards.

The screenplay of “The Great Gatsby” is an adaptation of the homonym book written by F. Scott Fitzgerland in 1925. Nevertheless, it is not the first one, as four more adaptations have been made before this one. The last one was made thirteen years ago.

The cast that make possible this movie can’t be obviated. It is led by Leonardo Di Caprio in the role of Jay Gatsby. Tobey Maguirre is also worthy of the occasion in the role of his neighbor Nick. Carey Mulligan also shines as Daisy Buchanan, accompanied by Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan. No doubt that there are more actors that detach for their great performance, but these four seem to carry out the story.

Almost as important as the cast is the music chosen for “The Great Gatsby”. Undoubtedly it is a big claim for the audience, since they are songs by famous artists of the present that will take its fans to watch the movie. In total, there are fourteen songs, that include songs by Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Will.I.Am, Florence & The Machine, Gotye, Sia, and even the suitable song by Lana del Rey “Young And Beautiful”. Obviously these songs are not from the twenties, as it includes rap and other modern styles.

“The Great Gatsby” has an approximate running time of 143 minutes, and being at the cinema, you will enjoy almost every minute. However, there is a certain moment when you think that the end is very close but it goes on prolonging, probably creating desperation. That is the reason why, in the opinion of the one who is writing here, the ending should have been shortened.

Having said that, I just invite you to watch the movie and enjoy the spectacle and the audiovisual party that Luhrmann proposes us. And I even say more: will “The Great Gatsby” obtain a prize at the next Accademy Awards? I certainly think that it deserves it.

“I hope she’ll be a fool. That’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” The Great Gatsby


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