UK Release date: 16th May 2013
Watched at the cinema on Sunday 2nd June 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I first have to say I have never read the book and so I can only judge the film as a on its own merits. I have, however seen the 1974 version of this film starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Fortunately it was a very long time ago and I really can’t remember too much about it other than it didn’t exactly enthral me. I will have been in my early teens when I saw it so that’s not entirely surprising. But I digress; here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
We are told the story is told through the eyes of Gatsby’ neighbour, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire). He had gone into selling bonds having decided he didn’t really want to be a writer. He was still close to his cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), who had married old money in the form of Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). Now Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) was a very enigmatic character and there were wild rumours about him; none of which were true of course. He threw elaborate parties to which everyone who was anyone (and some who weren’t) turned up. One day, out of the blue, Carraway is sent an invitation to one of these soirées. Of course he goes, but never having met Gatsby before; found it hard to track him down so he could thank him. Eventually Gatsby makes himself known, but there’s an ulterior motive behind the invitation; something from the past and Nick Carraway is the key to unlocking it.
A film with some great set pieces; I found the party scenes particularly spectacular. It’s beautifully shot and I’m quite glad I saw it in 2D as I couldn’t see how 3D would have enhanced it much. I found the music interesting with the big set pieces being handed over to rapper Jay-Z (also an Executive Producer), but it was the original music by Craig Armstrong that I found most enthralling. There are several well known themes subtly placed in the soundtrack and I found both refreshing and interesting. All the performances were great with DiCaprio and Mulligan getting top billing; but I thought Tobey Maguire was equally good. I guess I’ll have to read the book to be able to decide just how good an adaptation this is; but for now I found it quite a satisfying watch with plenty of drama to keep me entertained. If I was to be super critical I would have to say I found the character of Gatsby a little one-dimensional, but having said that it’s still well worth a look if you get the chance.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.5/10.
IMDb Score: 7.5/10 (based on 49,082 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 54/100: (Based on 44 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 72/100 (based on 90,311 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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