By Guillermina Rodriguez
Glamorous party scenes, fabulous costumes and great music are just a few things that make “The Great Gatsby” a movie to see in theaters.
Director Baz Luhrmann, known for “Moulin Rouge” and 1996’s “Romeo + Juliet,” captured the 1920s moral declination and fiscal prosperity with over-the-top scenes, amazing fashion and striking sets.
Luhrmann presented the world F. Scott Fitzgerald created with beautiful sets, amazing costumes and music that captured the essence of the 20s. He showed the decay of virtues as World War I ended and Wall Street boomed through extraordinary scenes that almost seemed unreal.
The story follows Nick Carraway, played by Tobey Maguire, who abandoned his dreams of becoming a writer and set sail to New York to become part of the Wall Street scene.
While in New York, Nick rents out a small cottage next to Jay Gatsby, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a wealthy man whose ambition, love and hope blinds him.
Gatsby throws lavish parties in hope of being reunited with his past love Daisy Buchanan, played by Carey Mulligan, who is married to Tom Buchanan, played by Joel Edgerton.
The movie revolves around the unraveling love between Gatsby and Daisy, told in the perspective of Nick as the narrator.
Nick is part of the drama, but outside of it as well. He is just an observer who gets swept up in the loose life of New York and the thunderous relationship of Gatsby and Daisy.
There are moments where the movie seems to drag on, but the extravagant scenes and fashion compensate for those slow moments.
Those moments are when the characters are slowly revealing their true nature underneath all of the glamour and charm.
Another great element of the movie is the music. It is amazing to see how modern music was able to complement the 1920s. It fit perfectly together.
Luhrmann did a great job on integrating new music within the film. Even though some of the music was hip-hop, the sound still captured the Roaring Twenties and added a touch of surrealism, along with over-the-top scenes.
The music, the extravagant costumes and the sets allow the imagination of the viewer to look at the 1920s as a time of great happiness and prosperity, but underneath the surface it was a period of over indulgence, greediness and moral corruption.
The film exposes how established, wealthy families snubbed the new wealthy families who earned their money through the stock market and other means.
The entire movie is exaggerated and over-the-top, but it stresses how love can be corrupted by money and how desire can be fickle.
The cast did wonderful jobs portraying their characters as they unravel in their perceptions of New York where love, money and desire can quickly disappear.
Mulligan and DiCaprio capture the intimacy of Gatsby and Daisy perfectly, as well as their darker sides, with overblown acting that parallels their characters’ personalities.
“The Great Gatsby” is visually pleasing and depicts the fast-paced life of the 1920s with over-the-top scenes.
Courtesy Warner Bros.
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