- First, I want to start off by saying how much love Baz Luhrmann, so this review will probably be biased. This movie was absolutely wonderful, and made me feel melancholy and moved simultaneously. His trademark directing cues were quite present in this film (fast zoom in on character faces; long, zooming shots of settings) made this film all the more his own. Speaking of settings, he got the tiniest details right (the white linens swaying in the wind) while putting his own spin on things (did you see the plastic zebras in the pool?). Each scene was gorgeous, exploding with vivid colours and dreamy visuals. There’s no overkill in the visuals, and the costumes are vintage enough to be considered a period piece.
- There were a lot of similarities with Moulin Rouge in the aspect of directing choices (which is completely fine with me, since Moulin Rouge is my favourite film – I am not ashamed!). Buzzfeed has the hilarious comparison between the two, complete with pictures. The comparison can be found here.
- Casting was perfect. The acting was perfect. Tobey and Leo were Carraway and Gatsby. One thing I will note is that I could have had a tiny bit more chemistry between Leo and Carey, but that could be argued as the portrayal of an already fizzled out love alive only because of expectations. The important thing is that everyone was natural in their roles and not overacting, which is something that a director needs to be careful of, especially with a movie based on such a timeless classic.
- I can’t even describe how perfect the soundtrack was. Baz loves to play with time by mixing modern and dated themes. He nailed this interplay by selecting a phenomenal soundtrack. Lana Del Rey, Jay Z, and Florence and the Machine are among the various artists. The soundtrack also includes a sensational rendition of Crazy In Love. Honestly I want to vomit because of how good the music is in the film, and how much it works when at first glance it shouldn’t.
All in all, I feel he didn’t let F. Scott Fitzgerald down. It was a refreshing update on The Great Gatsby, and one that makes the story that much better. At no point was I bored or distracted by the stunning visuals, which is a lot to say since there’s a lot going on in this movie. The film was perfectly paced at 142 minutes, and didn’t stray from the novel, so there isn’t any disappointment in anything really being left out.
Go see it if you haven’t already. I give it an 8.5/10