In fifth grade you may have read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American Novel, The Great Gatsby.
If not, an entertaining option is the 2013 film. Director Baz Luhrmann takes on this great American Novel by stylistically mixing the Jazz Age, with the modern hip-hop movement. The film explores all the subjects of the Roaring Twenties, which include indulgence, optimism, the conflict of change, social upheaval, love, and American excess. The film is set in the summer of 1922 in Long Island, the story follows a man’s yearning for a past love, and all of his efforts to win this now married woman.
This man is Jay Gatsby, who is brilliantly played by Leonardo DiCaprio and the married woman is Daisy Buchanan who was dramatically played by Carey Mulligan. Joel Edgerton had a solid performance as the rich, arrogant, and former Yale football star, Mr. Tom Buchanan. Unfortunately, like most of his past rolls Tobey Maguire had a disappointing robotic like performance as writer, Nick Caraway. This character happens to be Gatsby’s next door neighbor, a Yale graduate, a World War I veteran, and also comes from the Midwest.
The films artistic value came in the way of music, but there was some down fall in editing, and symbolism. For a film like this, it is expected to use time period music, but Director Baz Luhrmann chose a more modern hip-hop soundtrack with music from such artists as Jay Z. The films editing felt a little choppy, in the sense that there were too many cuts and therefore not giving it a good visual flow. In addition, the special effects were meant to portray symbolism, but it lost some of this because they were used to often. In other words, the audience was not given the opportunity to explore the symbolism because there was too much of it.
You will enjoy the films extravagance, great costume design, and Jazz/hip-hop music. Out of all the remakes of this great American Novel this one is one of the best. Overall, this film is an entertaining film and it would make a good date night at home.