Director's excesses ruin Gatsby

Director's excesses ruin Gatsby

Although Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby sticks close to the details of F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic novel, it's best not to think of the literary classic when watching this film.

Set in the 1920s, the film follows Wall Street bond salesman Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), who rents a cottage next to the wealthy Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) on Long Island, New York. The mysterious Gatsby holds lavish parties that attract movie stars, politicians and the like.

It turns out everything he does is part of his grand plan to win back Daisy (Carey Mulligan), who married rich boy Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) when Gatsby went off to fight in the first world war.

DiCaprio feels just right as Gatsby. His youthful prettiness has faded away, leaving a confident yet desperate loner devoured by his pursuit of the American dream.

Any subtlety of acting or text is ruined by Luhrmann's decision to mix in splashy, jarring visuals and almost pretentious hip hop music. As a result, nothing can save the film from looking like an extravagant, soulless music video.

YP Rating: 3/5

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