First off, I must admit that this movie was very entertaining and worth the $10. Even if you haven't read the novel (which I highly recommend you go do), you will get a good kick out of what this movie has to offer. The story itself is simply amazing and the visuals are extraordinary. You'll be amazed by Luhrmann's talent for taking a story and shoving a whole lot of extravaganza in it. If you watch Moulin Rouge (another movie by Luhrmann that I highly recommend you see), you will find that Luhrmann is no stranger to this style of directing movies. Also, behind the glitter, bottle popping, and flappers doing the Charleston to unfitting rap music, the love story is so beautiful that it makes you want to hug a tissue box.
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Leonardo Dicaprio played the role of Gatsby with excellence. Tobey Maguire, who played the role of the protagonist Nick Carraway, wouldn't let me stop picturing Spiderman every time I saw his face, so I had a little problem there. All other actors filled their roles accordingly.
For those who have read the novel, fear not, for this movie did not butcher the story! A lot of the symbols were surprisingly there. The old owl-like man drunk in Gatsby's library was there, which seemed to be a symbol too subtle for non-novel reader to catch, but it was there. T.J. Eckleburg's eyes looming over the Valley of Ashes like the disgusted eyes of God, there. Longing gazes across the water pinpointed at a single green light were also there. I enjoyed seeing all of this in the movie, and I certainly enjoyed seeing how someone else pictured these things.
However much partying and screaming (or rather roaring) there was put into this movie, I still couldn't feel that emotion I had hoped to feel when I read the book. This movie was a great movie. However, I expected more. I expected the movie to poke at my feelings, and make me feel hope, regret, love, and nostalgia all over again, but it just fell short from doing that. I understand that there is a budget and a time cap, and that you just can't include every detail and explore every dynamic and complexity of every character, but I wish it was possible. I didn't feel for movie Gatsby as I did for novel Gatsby. I guess that's just something that perspective has on us.
Written By: Joey Nguyen