The Great Gatsby is not so great. As a matter of fact, I give it a C+. Read the book by F.Scott Fitzgerald instead - trust me - same use of 2-1/2 hours. I can't explain the problem with the movie except to say it was a lot of flash without substance, and it was trying to be bigger, to have "meaning", and it just didn't get there.
Baz Lurhmann is an interesting director and I liked his Moulin Rouge. The Great Gatsby had the same rich cinematography, eye popping colors, huge cast, dazzling costumes, and decent acting. But, I just was not entranced. As a matter of fact, the theater I was in had a power surge and the movie stopped in the middle for about twenty minutes. I probably could have left without serious remorse. That's not a good sign.
Tobey Maquire narrated as Nick and he did a good job as the wide-eyed observer, protector of his cousin Daisy Buchanan (played by a dewy Carey Mulligan) and in awe of Jay Gatsby (played by Leonardo DeCaprio). Leo has the look, the intensity, and the panache, and yet...a little something was missing in the connection between him and Daisy. They said all the right lines, but I didn't feel scorching heat or intensity of love. Joel Edgerton, as Tom Buchanan, was suitable as the old money brute, carouser, womanizer, and foe to Gatsby.
There just wasn't a natural flow to the movie. We had scenes that were busy and pretty, and yet the tension didn't build at the pace it should have. It was choppy and disconcerting. With the kick-off of summer movie season, there are plenty of other movie competitors for your dollar. If you must see it, wait for The Great Gatsby to hit Netflix. Go see Ironman 3, or new Star Trek:Into Darkness (that's what I plan to see next) in the theater. And play some serious Jazz Age music, not rapper stuff for 1922. That's just wrong.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.