THE GREAT GATSBY

THE GREAT GATSBYLeonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby
Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan
Tobey Maguire as Nick Carroway
Elizabteth Debicki as Jordan Baker
Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan
Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson
In theaters May 10

It’s the height of the 1920s; the Jazz Age, the era of flaming youth, wealth, and excess abound. The story of “The Great Gatsby” is told through the eyes of Nick Carroway. Nick is the cousin of wealthy socialite Daisy Buchanan, but Nick is also the neighbor of the mysterious, enigmatic millionaire Jay Gatsby, who is known for throwing outlandish, lavish, and wild parties. As Gatsby takes Nick in to his confidence (something Gatsby never does with anyone), Nick learns that Gatsby has a secret. He and Daisy have a past…Gatsby has always loved Daisy. They met and fell in love when they were very young, but when they fell in love, he was penniless. Daisy was a rich girl and because of war they were forced apart. He never stopped loving her, nor she him, even though she married someone else. From that point Gatsby made it his life’s mission to become rich so that one day he could come back and claim Daisy as his own. So he enlists Nick’s help in reconnecting with Daisy. Daisy’s life is complicated, but empty. She’s married to a former sports champion polo player, who is also a pompous, bigoted bore who has a mistress on the side. But a part of her has never let go of her love for Gatsby. When they reconnect, things get extremely complicated.

“The Great Gatsby” is Baz Luhrman’s lavish epic interpretation of the great American classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Unlike many, I never read the novel in high school. My first impression of Gatsby was the 1974 film version staring Mia Farrow and Robert Redford, so I’m not sure just how true this presentation is to the book, but it follows well with the 1974 production. If you are familiar with and are a fan of Baz Lurhmann’s other works such as “Romeo + Juliet” (also starring Leo) and “Moulin Rouge,” you won’t be disappointed with “Gatsby.” The fit is just right as Lurhmann brings this classic piece of literature to life. The lavish decadent atmosphere and lifestyles of the 20s era actually easily fits in with the current socioeconomic climate. To further hammer that point home, Baz brings in Jay-Z who produced the soundtrack for the film. As with Baz Luhrmann’s other works, the soundtrack is so important to this film. The modern hip-hop soundtrack actually manages to seamlessly fit the tone and convey the feel of the 1920s atmosphere. This film will inspire a generation. Just as Jay Gatsby spares no expense, Baz Lurhmann spares no expense in giving you a dizzying, stunning feast for the eyes. Through his story telling, Luhrman paints such a rich canvas (definitely enhanced by the 3D during the party scenes) that you can’t help getting swept up and want to live in Gatsby and Daisy’s world.

I urge you to see this film, if only to see what all the shouting is about. I guarantee you will be left breathless.

5 out of 5 stars.

Check out the trailer for “The Great Gatsby” below:

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