The sights and the sounds of the 1920s were brought to life on the big screen in Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby.” With that unique spin he brings to all his movies, Luhrmann stayed true to the book, while putting his magic touch on it.
The amazing costumes were paired with an wonderful set design. It was just the sort of fantastical representation you would expect from a Luhrmann production. The vibrant colors and over the top attitude are matched with a modern soundtrack. He took the Jazz Age and infused it with just the right amount of hip-hop.
Luhrmann takes us one the journey F. Scott Fitzgerald penned. Through the eyes of Nick Carraway, (Tobey McGuire) we are taken through the adventures of a colorful cast. After being invited to one of the famous Jay Gatsby parties, Carraway not only meets the “great” Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), but he is also thrown in the world of opulence and decadence. Gatsby befriends Caraway, helping him get closer to Carraway’s cousin, Daisy (Caryn Mulligan). Staying true to the novel, Luhrmann made sure to add subtle nods to Fitzgerald, including the haunting eyes from Doctor T. J. Eckleburg’s eye doctor faded advertisement that overlooks the Valley of the Ashes by Wilson’s Garage.
One big surprise was seeing Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan’s cameo in the movie. Having only seen him previously in Hindi movies, it was interesting to see his crossover into Hollywood.
“The Great Gatsby” is a love story through and through. First loves, unconditional love and love lost. Luhrmann’s touch was definitely seen throughout the movie. It was so fantastical that I don’t know if I could picture it any other way.
The Verdict: Baz Luhrmann did not disappoint by not just turning this classic novel into a movie, but taking it a step further and modernizing it.
Opened: May 10, 2013
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Principal Cast: Leonardo Dicaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, and Isla Fisher