This is the fifth time
that F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel "The Great Gatsby"
has been turned into a film by the same name. The first adaptation
starred Warner Baxter and Lois Wilson in 1926. Alan Ladd and Betty
Field were in the second version in 1949. The third adaptation
starred Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, back in 1974. The latest
"Great Gatsby" film, before this one, was released in
2000 featuring Toby Stephens and Mira Sorvino.
I came into this movie
with an open mind because I didn't read the novel and I haven't
seen any of the other film adaptations. All I knew going into
this movie was that it starred Leonardo DiCaprio and he was going
to be a con man.
This new adaptation
starts out with hundreds of people partying at Gatsby's mansion
on a lake. We are introduced to Tobey Maguire, who plays Nick
Carraway, an aspiring bond broker in 1920s New York. He re-establishes
a friendship with his cousin, Daisy (played by Carey Mulligan),
and her husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). Everyone is looking
for Jay Gatsby, the owner of the mansion, but no one can seem
to find him. Partygoers recall several different stories of his
Nick also gets romantic
with golfer Jordan Baker (played by Elizabeth Deciki), who gets
pressured by Daisy to begin a romance with Nick. Jordan tells
Nick about his neighbor, the ultra-rich Jay Gatsby. Nick later
finds out about the love affair between Gatsby and Daisy, which
was broken by him serving in World War I. Nick is left with the
task of recreating the past, who is this Gatsby and how did he
get to be so rich?
The entire movie from
the beginning to the end is essentially a flashback. At the very
end, viewers will be flashed back to the beginning and the whole
movie will finally make some sense.
In most movies, you
see the leading actor or actress as soon as the film begins. However,
in this one, you won't. DiCaprio doesn't appear on the big screen
until 20 or 25 minutes into the film. Speaking of DiCaprio, there
was one kissing scene on the dock, which reminded me of the famous
kiss with Kate Winslet in 1997's "Titanic."
I think this movie
could be a strong Oscar contender next February. I particularly
liked the use of graphics--or words on the screen--when the letters
were transcribed to figure out the past. There were several scenes
shot in black-and-white, which were particularly good as well.
Baz Luhrmann directed
this new adaptation of "The Great Gatsby." The Australian-born
director is best known for 2001's "Moulin Rouge" and
1996's "Romeo + Juliet." This film is rated PG-13 for
some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief
language. Scenes were shot throughout Sydney, New South Wales,
I enjoyed this film
a lot. It was definitely a unique experience since I never read
the book or seen any of the previous adaptations. I do think it
was a little big long at two hours and 23 minutes. If you're a
Leonardo DiCaprio fan, go check it out!