The Great Gatsby (2013) – Film Review

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The Great Gatsby

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan

Directed by Baz Luhrmann, based on the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald

IMDB Rating: 7.3

Review by Rachel Geiger

This updated version of the classic book draws the line between modern while still creating a tribute to the roaring ’20s. It’s a fun film with a memorable soundtrack.

If you haven’t read the very famous novel, Gatsby takes place during the 1920’s in New York. Nick Carraway (Maguire) lives next to a mysterious and fancy house that is constantly hosting fabulous parties. He gets invited to one of the parties and eventually meets the owner of the house who is Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) a man who hardly any of the guests have even met. Nick learns that Gatsby throws these parties in hopes that his lost love Daisy (Mulligan) will attend. A married Daisy who now has a new baby just so happens to be Nick’s cousin. Nick then finds himself in the middle of this forbidden love story.

The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books of all time. Mostly due to the beautiful and vivid language used by the incredible writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald. This plot being brought to life by these incredible actors and actresses is truly remarkable. It stays relatively close to the book, only leaving out some minor details but nothing too important. Since its adapted from a really successful book, the plot and characters in general are well developed and fun to watch.

Tobey Maguire did a good job with the role of Nick Carraway. There’s not really too many dimensions explored here, but he stays true to the original conservative yet opinionated guy who admired Jay Gatsby. In my opinion, Leonardo DiCaprio is no Robert Redford, who took on the role in the 1974 film adaptation. But I do think he still captures the genuine emotions very well, he makes you feel sorry for his character. Carey Mulligan was amazing with her role of Daisy, who’s one of the most unlikable characters in my opinion. She doesn’t make the character likable, but she brings a unique quality to the role which is fun to watch.

Baz Luhrmann has directed five motion pictures so far. He’s extremely gifted at updating these films to fit a modern-day audience. He also highlights these beautiful locations where he films and makes us feel like we’re right there with them. His movies also have a lot of action, which I think makes it more interesting to watch. His small decisions as a director in general have a lasting effect on his films, which is especially shown through The Great Gatsby.

This film is part modern-day, part staying true to the original time period. Baz Luhrmann makes this look easy with his interpretation of this classic novel that’s been made into several different movies in the past. However, this one is certainly a memorable version of it. The acting and the soundtrack make this film one that you have to watch at least once!

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