By Sharon Pisani (Malta)
The Great Gatsby: Green Light Access
I entered a preview of The Great Gatsby with quite high expectations. I had heard a lot about the star-studded production, the released trailers were quite appealing, and the film was receiving quite good reviews abroad since its Cannes premier.
As the movie started I realised the expectations would be matched as the movie is full of stunning visuals and dazzling scenes, Baz Luhrmann style, which are only enhanced by the perfected 3D effect. The choice for shooting the film in 3D created quite a controversy early on, but I believe everyone can now see that this only added to the glamour effect of the 20s.
The movie is roughly split into two parts – the first one being the alluring gratifying party scenes and the other being a more melancholic side of the story when the events really start to unravel. The glitter, glamour of the party scenes complemented with modern party songs from Fergie and will.i.am brought the audience as close as possible to the party, while ‘haunting’ tunes from Lana Del Rey and Florence and the Machine integrated in the emotional scenes worked beautifully. The soundtrack which was penned and produced by Jay-Z, brought the right amount of jazz in this 20s adaptation.
The film narration by Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) might have been a bit slow-moving in the beginning, but it set up the necessary New York background, especially for viewers who had not read the book and were not familiar with the story. His fascination with neighbour Jay Gatsby, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who seems unable to produce any substandard work lately, is felt throughout the film. He is seen at times as the extra wheel in the relationship between Gatsby and Daisy (Carey Mulligan), but he is the one there constantly for Gatsby, even before he showed total faith in the stranger he barely knew.
Despite the glitz and glamour, the film’s roots are deep in the novel it is adapted from and the memorable emotions of the book are transformed wonderfully in the movie, with words sometimes typed on the screen and direct quotes, notably the ones at the end taken directly from the novel, and other subtle references, major of which was the innuendo of the original novel cover. The film does not fail to address the themes in the novel and presents them in a way which establishes them as themes very applicable to the life of today.
Overall, the film takes the audience on a ride from the nonchalance high life of the 20s to the corrupt fall of the characters as hope and dreams are crashing around them. With Nick’s guidance, the story speaks strongly, and the mellow atmosphere of the novel is properly brought to life.