The Great Gatsby


Category: Drama, Romance

Age Restriction: 13

Length: 142min

Well known names: Leonardo DiCaprio , Tobey Maguire, Carrey Mulligan, Baz Luhrmann (Director) 

Rating: 8/10 

The Great Gatsby story is one that most are familiar with, you would’ve either read the book in school, watched the original movie or just heard people talk about it. This is however a brand new version with a modern twist every now and then, even though it is still set in the 1920’s, the costumes and props are straight from that era and it has tried to adhere to the original dialogue as much as possible.

I have not yet read the book, so I can’t make comparisons to the original storyline and feel, but I know that no matter how hard you try you won’t be able to visually show everything that was experienced while reading the book. So be open-minded when you watch this movie, expect them to be telling the story in a new way. For the most part it tried to stick to the way the story was told in the book, but whereas the novel was very critical of America in the Roaring Twenties,  the film shows it all in quite a romantic light. There are a couple of spots that show the crude, garish party scenes and lifestyles of that era, but it’s mostly the lower class that’s depicted in this light.

If, like me, you haven’t seen or read any of this story yet, I can say that this is a good film to go and watch. It plays off in the summer of 1922 in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island. It’s a story told from an aspiring writers point of view as he rented a small cottage next door to a mysterious billionaire named Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is well-known for throwing massive parties every weekend, where people just rock up without invitation and enjoy themselves until they can’t any more  It’s the era of flashy parties, grand mansions and economic prosperity. It’s the time where bootlegging and other criminal activity rose up along with the flapper culture and the evolution of jazz music. As the story unfolds we get to know Gatsby better and see his long-lost love is his motivation behind all that he does and it has quite a sad ring to it.

As a film on its own, The Great Gatsby is a work of art. It’s a classic story that has been brought to life with great actors and wonderful directing. Baz Luhrman, who is well-known for his films Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge! and Australia, has done another beautiful job with The Great Gatsby. He already has quite a few awards under his belt for his other films, so I can’t think that this one would be any different. The props and period decor fit really well and you can’t help but get that “wow” factor as you watch the lives of the rich. One of the best things about the movie though, is its soundtrack. It’s filled with fun modern songs tying the scenes together and making it feel accessible even though it’s set in a completely different era.

The story was tastefully told with beautiful colours and a fantasy feel to it that will definitely appeal to most audiences. Keep in mind that it might not be the ideal movie for young teenagers to see as there is a bit of violence and sexuality plays a big role in the storyline. If they do watch it, perhaps have a discussion about the motives and ideals of that society and specific characters to ensure that they are able to understand their feelings about this film.