#REVIEW: “THE GREAT GATSBY”
Review by: Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
Life is Poetry, and love is its pen, paper and prose. Few are those that find this out, fewer still are those that write it down. F. Scott Fitzgerald did both, and Baz Luhrmann continues to navigate this binary with poise. Having adapted Romeo + Juliet and written Moulin Rouge!, there is no question that his pen is mighty. Furthermore, his romances were equally as exquisite to the eye and ear, whilst touching the souls of many. His latest Film is just as profound. A three-dimensional conversion of Fitzgerald’s piece de resistance: The Great Gatsby.
This coup de grace attacks the American Dream with the words of a prophet and the palette of a painter. Tobey Maguire leads the grand affair as Nick Carraway, a Writer turned Stock Broker enchanted by the Jazz Age. Having just moved to New York he has high hopes amongst low-lifes. Old money exists across the bay, embodied by his Cousin’s Husband Tom Buchanan, (Joel Edgerton); whilst new money beams beside him, adorning the great J. Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Mystery shrouds both men, and Carraway narrates how he stumbled into solving it all long ago. The key to said solution resting on the ivory shoulders of his aforementioned cousin: Daisy. Played by the ever exquisite Carey Mulligan (Shame and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), she shines as the beautiful Fool.
In fact every, last frame is effervescent, and the 3D is magical, a Cast Member all its own, as is the Soundtrack. Jay-Z’s skilful Production is impressive to say the least, and Luhrmann’s desire for original content is not only present but cleverly placed throughout the Film. No song more so than the outstanding Ballad by Lana Del Rey: Young & Beautiful. Tragedy has not looked this beautiful since Romeo + Juliet graced the Silver Screens of 1996.
This is the type of Film deserving of every dollar invested into it, as well as all those handed over for admission, because the Plot is one poignant for today’s audience. With the Western World so caught up in the allure of wealth, this age old tale reminds us all of its fallacy. For the pursuit of financial gain and public glory is nothing but a dream, a chimera Fitzgerald exposed in his timeless tome. That thesis is enlivened yet again in Technicolour by one of today’s greatest Directors.
Tobey Maguire first and foremost, for the Lead is too often overlooked. Brilliant he is, and so is DiCaprio. The latter remains the King of the Castle. Newcomer Joel Edgerton plays the formidable foe, and his onscreen Wife (Mulligan) is both graceful and expressive. Last but not least, it’s nice to see Callan McAuliffe (Flipped) glow as the young Gatsby. Oh, and Newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as observant and gossipy Jordan Baker is an unmistakable Beauty and exciting new Talent.
The one Picture about love your yearning soul has been searching for. Warner Bros. releases The Great Gatsby 3D on Friday, May 10, 2013.
Read our Interview with Director Baz Luhrmann on the Toronto Stop-off of The Great Gatsby Press Tour.