Review: Set in the 1920’s, The Great Gatsby portrays a ‘golden shimmering mirage’ like image of New York. The display of elegance, wealth and revelry in the film leave you awestruck. With shiny surfaces, spiralling stairs and shimmering curtains the film is a beauty and would be spectacular even if it was not made in 3D. The antique musical arrangements by Jay-Z make the film come wildly alive.
Contrary to what the promotional trailers depict, the film is in actuality a love story. The first half of the film will charm you and at the same time leave you too many unanswered questions. The second half of the film is full of intense drama. The film juggles with too many themes like hope, love, revenge, death, the quest for unrequited love, mad-love and the meaninglessness of life. However out of all these themes, the theme of hope and the meaninglessness of life stand out.
Jay Gatsby(Leonardo DiCaprio) plays the ideal ‘hopeful against all odds’ sort of a man, and is best described in the film by Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as “They’re a rotten crowd, you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” Carey Mulligan’s Daisy(Gatsby’s love interest) looks like an angel and depicts gentleness and vulnerability at its best. The film reserves an odd cameo in the form of Wolfsheim, Gatsby’s business associate from Amitabh Bachchan, who is nothing short of being called a legend. He probably agreed to play the part because he didn’t want to miss the opportunity of being part of such an ambitious film.
The film retains a lot of the amoral energy of Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet. With The Great Gatsby, he plays story teller to the hilt. Although the novel from where the film is adapted, (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic) was set in the 1920’s Luhrmann makes the film speak to the 21st century. And he does this by incorporating contemporary music which gives the film a familiar feel.
The film does have an ending that’ll suck you into nothingness. However this doesn’t make it any less of a masterpiece, but only elevates it to higher levels of greatness.