Reviews of Movies, TV shows & metro Detroit Restaurants

Short movie & TV show reviews and metro Detroit restaurant reviews

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Movie Review: "The Great Gatsby" (2013)

The Great Gatsby (directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio & Tobey Maguire) is a decent movie that had a lot of buzz due to the popularity of the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald and its lead actor. I didn’t think it really delivered though. But then again, I don’t think the book is that great either…

It’s 1922 and Nick Carraway (played by Maguire) is a Midwesterner living very modestly in the village of West Egg on Long Island & working as a bond salesman in New York City. His neighbor is Jay Gatsby (played by DiCaprio) who lives in a mansion and throws extravagant parties. Nick begins spending time with his cousin Daisy (played by Carey Mulligan), her husband Tom (played by Joel Edgerton), and golfer Jordan Baker (played by Elizabeth Debicki). And then, he gets an invitation to one of Gatsby’s parties, meets the man himself, and they become good friends but Gatsby remains a mystery to Nick. Gatsby introduces Nick to his friend & gambler Meyer Wolfsheim and Nick knows that something is up with Gatsby & the infamous gambler and he is suspicious of their relationship. But this does not stop Nick from forming a solid friendship with Gatsby. Nick finds out from Jordan that Gatsby had a relationship with Daisy 5 years earlier and Gatsby's lavish parties are all part of his plan to get Daisy back. Eventually, he wins her back after Nick invites Daisy over for tea & Gatsby "just happens" to show up and they begin an affair that spirals out of control...and in the end, takes numerous tragic turns.

I listened to The Great Gatsby on audiobook and while I thought it was a decent story, I didn't think it was that great and I couldn't understand why it was thought to be such a classic novel. I thought maybe I missed something while listening to it rather than reading it, but upon watching the movie, I realized I really hadn't missed much. The movie is good, not great but it does follow the book for the most part and does justice to it. The performances are good with DiCaprio delivering a spot-on Gatsby and Maguire doing a nice job of playing Nick. It is visually dazzling and the costume design is great, which is why this movie won Oscars for Best Production Design and Best Costume Design. One thing about the movie that I found to be a bit strange was the usage of modern music, with Jay Z at the helm as executive music producer. I found this music to be quite distracting & annoying and it took away from the movie itself.

To (almost) quote Thorton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield's character in the movie Back to School...a comedy classic, in my opinion!), The Great Gatsby is...uh...(not) great. But it is decent...6.0/10 stars

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