- Summary -
Director : Baz Luhrmann
Year Of Release : 2013
Principal Cast : Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, Jack Thompson, Jason Clarke, Amitabh Bachchan, Max Cullen, Brendan Maclean, Adelaide Clemens, Steve Bisley, Vince Colosimo, Felix Williamson.
Approx Running Time : 143 Minutes
Synopsis: A young aspiring writer becomes caught up in the party-hard lifestyle of his New York neighbor, a secretive, mysterious man named Gatsby.
What we think : This is the Razzle-Dazzle Edition of F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel, The Great Gatsby. Baz Luhrmann’s verbose, rapid-fire film style is again on display, in this gorgeously mounted extravaganza that delivers visceral visual pleasure but misses the mark on the emotional content. Luhrmann’s style is not for everyone’s tastes, and this Gatsby dips itself thoroughly into the highly stylized world of 1920′s US fantasy, leaving a lot of style and grandiosity standing where depth and coherence (and character development) should have been front and center. As an experiment, it feels slipshod, but as an eye-candy affair, it certainly delivers.
Flashy and dashing, old sport.
The fifth cinematic outing for F Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel about the American dream leaves one gasping for breath by its closing arguments, dazzled and dazed by director Baz Luhrmann’s glitterati style and non-stop camerawork. While he may have his detractors, there’s little arguing that Luhrmann can certainly put together a film of color and excitement, with overt histrionics and passionate emotion bubbling away beneath the veneer of beauty; some might also argue that his films seem to exist as examples of high fantasy, nether-worlds of reality that traverse believability and convention, eschewing depth and character for a glossy theatricality (Luhrmann comes from the world of theater) that ends up alienating a large segment of his audience. Although I’m thoroughly unfamiliar with The Great Gatsby’s literary history aside from its impact on the world stage of writing, and at this point have yet to venture to view any other version of the story on film, I’m inclined to think that Luhrmann’s Gatsby is as close as we’re likely to get to a real “entertainment” edition of this American Dream fable, even if it does journey about 30 minutes too long, and becomes too elegiac for its own good. So what to make of Luhrmann’s Gatsby, a film so breathless and gee-whizz that it takes some getting used to, and a film led by a delightfully smooth Leonardo DiCaprio? Is Gatsby another Luhrmann circle-jerk, or is it a film worthy of the nomenclature “great”?