22 Jun 2013
by Mala Raman
A good crowd met in the city at the Pathe movie theater to see The Great Gatsby. Since we were early, the group started with the borrel at Lokaal Zeven. After a leisurely (TGIF) chat, it was off to the movies.
Baz Luhrman’s directorial adaptation of the Great Gatsby was a razzle-dazzle space oddessy that moved the viewer up, down, around, and every which way with camera panning, galactic angles and floating letters depicting Carraway’s writing process (in case you didn’t get it from the actual dialogue). Unfortunately, the 3D effect hardly enhanced all the “stunt” work.
The setting of the movie itself was in the spring of 1922, and wide-eyed Midwesterner Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) has just moved to New York City in pursuit of the American Dream. Settling into a home next door to wealthy Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), Carraway grows increasingly fascinated by the elaborate parties held at his new neighbor’s estate. Meanwhile, across the bay, Carraway’s cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) flounders in her marriage to philandering aristocrat Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton).
In spite of the spectacles of dance, song and debauchery, the most riveting scene of the movie was the hotel scene where the love triangle exploded with great performances from DiCaprio and Edgerton. The rest of the movie rather minimized the actors and their roles in favor of highlighting the over-the-top wealth and glamor of the era. Luckily, Fitzgerald’s story in itself was compelling enough to keep the audience engaged in the story of Gatsby, his difficult early childhood and his unquenchable desire to gain wealth and the heart of his true love.