So, Rachel and I sat down to watch the newest iteration of a timeless classic, Baz Luhrman's 2013 The Great Gatsby. Here's the synopsis from IMDB:
"An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby's nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await."
So, fun and excitement awaits in the Roarin' 20s, right? Well, if you want to include everything involved, sure. Let's break it down a little, shall we?
I honestly felt like I was watching two different movies! I get that it's a Luhrman thing, and he uses everything at his disposal to create the mood he is looking for, but during the first half of the movie, there is VERY LOUD Jay-Z music playing through most of it. When you are building a universe that is so small, you can't have your suspension of disbelieve broken THAT bad. I could forgive the inflatable toys, but the music completely pulled me out of the universe, to a point where I couldn't even pay attention to what was going on. During the first half of the movie, I looked at how far we were in TWICE. That's unheard of for me. It felt like that first half was 3 hours long in itself.
Then the bad BGM stopped, and the movie started picking up steam (get it? Because they were using steam powered stuff still.) and the movie actually started getting exciting, and the actors really started to shine. You had an AMAZING performance from Leo DiCaprio, who you really could feel like he WAS Gatsby. Every time I saw him, I liked him more and more. That couldn't be more true about Spi... erm... Tobey McGuire, but it could be because I dislike him in the first place. Not sure which.
So, here's the bottom line, this is VERY Baz, it pulls all of the good elements out of Moulin Rogue, the camerawork, the hyper-realistic and over-stylized colors, including lights. He makes a point of making the music a part of the scene, and I kind of get that in the first half of the movie, where Gatsby was trying to cover himself up and be a badass, and in the second part where he was revealing his true self, but still, you could have chosen something that was CLOSE to music of the time, even if it was over-done. You could have had a group like the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies do the score on that first half, and I would have LOVED it. Before you guys say anything, no, it's not because I don't like Jay-Z, he is my favorite rapper, but it is was almost painful.
Fast cuts and camera moves are always a staple of Baz's. He does not seem to want to stay still, always on the move, and that's a good thing. the acting was top notch, and the colors were breathtaking.
I would give this movie a 4/10 TITOs, because there was an entire 90 minutes I couldn't watch it, and even though I loved the second half, it was not enough to redeem it. That being said, I think I will watch this again, and see if my opinion differs any at all.