By ATHANASOPOULOS VASILIS (B Class)
Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of «The Great Gatsby» combines the latest motion picture technology with the essence of F. S. Fitzgerald’s over 80 years old modern-classic novel in order to make cinema at its most magnificent, most excessive.
This movie has such a great power of attraction you can hardly escape from, it’s fast and dynamic – like a good party, and you as the viewer are in the center of all the exuberant happening revolving around you in a hurricane of glance and glamor; it smiles at you with a raised cocktail glass as Mr. Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) did when he welcomed Nick Carraway (T. Maguire) in his castle for the first time and from this moment on, there is only one question: What’s behind his whimsical smile?
The cinematography: the camera-work (tracking shots, pans, zooms, different perspectives, high-angle shots, &c.), the 3D effect that suited well the pomp, the editing (fast cuts, time leaps, different color filters, text sequences, archive footage…) as well as a cool, contemporary score with jazzy remixes of known hits by various artists such as Beyonce or Lana Del Rey, is what makes this movie stand out beside a very strong cast with DiCaprio’s intriguing performance at it’s top. The «Roaring Twenties» were never more vital and the old New York never shone brighter or was dirtier (like in the «Valley of Ashes») than in this motion picture I acknowledge as a really good piece of art which I refuse to compare with «Moulin Rouge» (as some critics did) since it is neither a musical nor a comedy although it certainly had one or two humorous scenes.
Carey Mulligan as Gatsby’s love interest Daisy Buchanan is a delight to behold like a rare pearl you long to call your own, of a fragile and tender nature torn apart between Gatsby and her jealous husband who is played by J. Edgerton with such hypocritical arrogance that you cannot but find him unlikable in a positive way. Only Jordan Baker (E. Debicki) disappoints because she plays a rather shallow role which should have been a somehow emancipated opposite to a dependent woman of the 1920′s who Daisy certainly is. N. Carraway recounts the tale in retrospect using Fitzgerald’s powerful prose, a tale not so much of a tragical love affair as of a mysterious billionaire who is enormously wealthy and yet unhappy for the one true love of his life is married to another man.
This movie aroused my wish to read the book again and this is indeed a good sign: highly recommendable!