Great gatsby film critique

Great gatsby explained movie

One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. For all its flaws, The Great Gatsby is a mind-bending experience. Especially this Aussie, Baz Luhrmann, who is known to overload, over-hype and overcook his theatrical product into a glittery miasma of small meaning and little consequence. From frame one, they're Dionysian whirls of booze, lust and hero worship, minus the sense that that things are ebbing and flowing as they would at a real party. Luhrmann is a cheerful vulgarian and his movie suggestive of Proust directed by Michael Winner. After losing her to Buchanan because he was penniless, he now seeks to recapture her. The movie conveys the sense of waste but not of what was wasted, of the superfluous but not of excess, and of the phony but not of the gloriously theatre of life. Luhrmann's Gatsby: not so great? The characters seem to come out of the screen and get next to you. The soundtrack is wonderful, but we only hear slivers of most of it, and often not enough for the songs to enhance the movie's vision. In true Horatio Alger tradition he has worked hard to improve himself, but when his past creeps up on him and threatens his well crafted self image, he suavely and effortlessly changes it, his past, and he inhabits the change until it becomes the reality.

There is tension and depth here. When Tom espouses his vile racial philosophies one might think that someday he might actually do something about it. Popular Blog Posts.

the great gatsby movie review assignment

Mulligan may not have as much depth, but she nonetheless makes for a frustratingly appealing Daisy. Arguably, the movie reaches its orgiastic peak 30 minutes in, with the first full reveal of Gatsby himself Leonardo DiCaprioaccompanied by an explosion of fireworks and the eruption of Gershwin on the soundtrack.

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In effect, they wrote of the higher animal prowling around the edges of a society and making incursions; Fitzgerald, however, wrote of society, remained an insider, and his view of social gamesmanship and the finely-calibrated inflections and higher frequencies with which insiders speak to each other—and the forceful desires that those glittering games both conceal and express—is the essence of his poetic vision of the world, the charm of his despair.

You're worth the whole damn bunch put together.

Great gatsby movie meaning

For all of its lurching and gyrating party scenes, for all the inflated pomp of the Gatsby palace and the Buchanan mansion, for all the colorful clothing and elaborate personal styling, Luhrmann takes none of it seriously, and makes none of it look remotely alluring, enticing, fun. And yet, Gatsby is still genius, even if so much of what horrified in Fitzgerald's book -- the rottenness of the lot of them -- doesn't have as much resonance in these Facebook-heavy, reality-TV-driven times. DiCaprio is as good as he has ever been, distilling Gatsby's striving, hopeful, and ultimately destructive nature into a heartbreaking cocktail. For myself, it is DeCaprio's best and most powerful performance. He has a plan and he is going to execute it and as far as he is concerned, for all the right reasons. Why was it so important for him to be rich? She's matched — appropriately overmatched, really — by Joel Edgerton's Tom. Daisy's husband, Tom Joel Edgerton , is oblivious at first to it all because he's so preoccupied with his own dalliances. The mysterious central character is the self-made Jay Gatsby, a millionaire bootlegger who in the summer of lives at West Egg, the township outside Manhattan on Long Island Sound where the nouveaux riches have built their mansions. When the tale's simmering resentments detonate notably in a scene near the end that takes pretty big liberties with the book the result is a more powerful experience than crowd scenes and CGI panoramas can deliver. On the page, the character is so mysterious, so much a projection of the book's narrator, that you'd think he'd be as unplayable onscreen as Kurtz or John Galt; he eluded Alan Ladd and Robert Redford , the role's previous inhabitants. What's lost and gained in the cinematic translation? He is the self made American man in every way. His whizzing 3-D cinematography offers lots of motion but no seduction; his parties are turbulent and raucous without being promising, without holding out the allure of magical encounters. Once you get past the movie's opening eruptions of visual excess — hundreds of party guests boozing and hollering and doing the Charleston; CGI cityscapes that visualize s New York by way of Warren Beatty's candy-colored " Dick Tracy "; a long expository talk between Gatsby and Nick in a careening computer-buffed roadster that moves as believably as the talking cab in " Who Framed Roger Rabbit " — "The Great Gatsby" settles into a traditional groove: scene, scene, montage, scene, burst of violence, moment of reflection.

In the end, this is just a film about rich people behaving unpleasantly. It's a pared-down novel where the use of "unrestfully" instead of "restlessly" is important, and where Carraway can speak of Jordan "changing the subject with an urban distaste for the concrete".

The great gatsby movie review essay

Daisy's husband, Tom Joel Edgerton , is oblivious at first to it all because he's so preoccupied with his own dalliances. He makes no false move here, not a single one, proving the perfect witness to the profligate, imprudent ways of Nick's people. But it is not for them that Gatsby has made this remarkable metamorphosis. This belief, that he can change his past, to correct it as it were, has given him a veneer of respectability that has put him in good stead with his underworld connections. The film's principal figure is not Gatsby but Nick Carraway, a classic unreliable narrator, aged 30 in that summer of , a midwesterner educated at Yale alongside Tom Buchanan and Daisy's second cousin. What's lost and gained in the cinematic translation? Tom is as rich, maybe even richer than Gatsby, but his money is old, he is an aristocrat with a deep sense of entitlement. Secretly, it seems to me, it is surprisingly uncritical about that.

If this wasn't bad enough, Tobey Maguire is miscast or misdirected, playing Nick as gauche, uncomfortable, unsophisticated, childlike — less an involved observer than an intruder.

The rest of the cast is nearly as impressive. Where, really, can one go from there?

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Families can talk about Gatsby and his commitment to Daisy. There's a contradictory, complicated person there. If this wasn't bad enough, Tobey Maguire is miscast or misdirected, playing Nick as gauche, uncomfortable, unsophisticated, childlike — less an involved observer than an intruder. Where, really, can one go from there? Does it work? Some scenes explode with so much visual stimulation that watching them feels rapacious and gluttonous -- a perfect strategy for evoking the excesses of the Jazz Age, yes, but also distracting and hard to enjoy. On the whole, they are well cast. There was something in that most profligate night life, in the obscenely indulgent expenditures of the rich on destructive amusements for themselves and their friends and the hangers-on, that had a diabolical appeal to Fitzgerald—but it has none for Luhrmann, and the movie offers none. That "not working" part is a deal breaker, though — and it has little to do with Luhrmann's stylistic gambits, and everything to do with his inability to reconcile them with an urge to play things straight. Alas, this "Gatsby" is so immense and overwrought — lumbering across the screen like the biggest, trashiest, loudest parade float of all time — that its intimacies feel like shared secrets between the director and the viewer. How does the movie portray drinking? Wolfsheim, incidentally, has been turned from a Jew into an Indian played by Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan , a foolish change made presumably to fend off the charge of antisemitism.

He is the American success myth both personified and perverted.

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