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The Great Gatsby - 2013 - A Movie Review
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The Great Gatsby is a wonderful movie. I have seen it two times so far on the big screen, which is something very rare. It is a work of art, in my opinion.
It is an adaptation based off of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The cast is wonderful, especially Jay Gatsby himself, played masterfully by Leonardo DiCaprio. I have loved other movies he is cast in, but perhaps nothing quite as much as this. Daisy Buchanan, his love interest which the story is based around, is played by Carey Mulligan. It is hard to imagine anyone else playing this part to be quite honest.
What can one say? It is an amazing love story with some interesting and heartbreaking twists and turns. Nick Carraway is the cousin of Daisy, and the one the movie begins and ends with, as he tells the story throughout. He is played by Tobey Maguire. He is my second favorite actor second only to Leonardo DiCaprio in the Great Gatsby.
As fate has it, he moves into a smaller house among mansions in beautiful Long Island. In the mansion next door, lives Jay Gatsby who learns that Nick is the cousin of the woman of his dreams, Daisy.
It is a fascinating film in every sense. One can't begin to imagine the fun of actually being at such a party as Mr. Gatsby could put on. The décor, the luxury, the wealth, the dreamy atmosphere very often, and sometimes craziness is worth watching this movie for. You can't help but imagine what it would be like to be right there dancing and having fun, listening to the music and the general thrill of it all.
The heartache this movie captures, comes in part through the fact that everything Gatsby has ever done, including every one of his lavish parties, has been for Daisy. His hope was that she would show up one day, and come back to him.
Stepping back further into time, they fall in love in a not so likely meeting, as he originally came from a very poor family, and she came from a very well to do family and life style. His involvement in the war, seemed to cover whatever possible flaw she or her family might have thought was there. They have a chance to kiss and fall in love. Then it was wartime.
You get some interesting views into how Gatsby's mind works during their initial encounters. When he fell for her, it was not just a simple crush, but something that turned his world around. He "let something go" when he began to love her. He explains it in the movie as you watch. Part of the saddest heartbreak is Gatsby's "rigid thinking" of how his world and that of those he loves has to come together to work out in a particular way. In fact, Nick, Daisy's cousin and his truest friend to the end even allude to the idea he may be asking too much. Even Daisy finally admits he is asking too much. She cannot lie for him and have be as if it is the truth that her heart only ever felt a certain way. How could she?
This comes at a very troublesome time, in which the main players in this drama are all together in the room. The husband of Daisy, Tom Buchanon and played by Joel Edgerton, seems to capitalize on a weakness he found out about or sensed in Gatsby. That is, that he doesn't come from old money, or a well to do family, and he really pushes this at a point that Gatsby nearly loses it and much is lost in the outburst that follows. It is simply heart breaking to watch. It is at this point that the face of Jordan Baker comes to mind when she is feeling afraid of what is unfolding. Jordan is an old friend and played very well by Elizabeth Debicki.
Things begin to fall apart, and everyone is brought back to the realities of life, and the situation at hand. The unfolding of events becomes even worse when things begin to break down in the movie, and the true motives and people's characters begin to shine through.
One of the most interesting parts of this film to me is how it keys in on humanity, some of its best and worst traits. Life is so precious, and it flies by. Same is true for all in the film, no matter how rich or poor. The decisions of all do matter, and it shows a lot of cause and effect throughout. It sheds light on how life is so seemingly unfair at times. It shows the coldness of some people's minds and hearts. Perhaps it is a weakness or a self preservation of sorts that we observe playing out. Even if that is the case, it makes the beautiful and lovely parts all the more beautiful and lovely. The hope, the dreams, the tenacity and beauty still comes through.
Ultimately, the bad character traits are seen for what they are. One can't help but feel so sad also for the tragedy of the couple who were poor and worked at a car garage. The wife was a mistress to Tom Buchanan. She and her husband even have a tragic end, due to the choices made by the rich, "old money", Buchanan couple. Wow, it does say a lot.
As for the casting, it was wonderfully done, and so interesting. I truly loved this film and can highly recommend this movie to all. One more thing, this movie is just another example of what an amazing and talented actor Leonardo DiCaprio really is. If you haven't seen him in many movies, I would recommend you see more. He is an excellent actor.
One of the most memorable moments from the movie is when Nick, Daisy's cousin, finally gets to meet Gatsby for the first time at one of his flamboyant parties. The smile is classic, and beautiful. He smiles with his eyes here again. He didn't say a word, but expresses so very much.
Everything else, from costume to make up, to the cars and décor, is exceptionally done. The cinematography is wonderful and fun.
I recommend seeing this movie if you have not, and perhaps seeing it again like I did, even if you already have! If you tend to shed a tear in a movie, bring tissues. Thank you to Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce. An amazing work. I could only hope for more masterpieces like this one. Thank you to F Scott Fitzgerald for inspiring it all with his original work.
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© 2013 Paula