March 2, 2014

Scene it Sunday #9 - The Great Gatsby Movie Review

The Great Gatsby
Source: Gifted
Release Date: May 10, 2013
Leads: Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan

An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby's nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.

I have no desire to tell you that I liked this movie, because as made obvious by my star rating, I didn't. Let me just start off by saying that I had just read the book when I watched this, so everything in the book was still pretty fresh in my mind. I noticed everything that they changed. And I hated it all the more for that.

I wanted to like this, I really did. I enjoy Leonardo DiCaprio as an actor (I mean, very few people don't), but he just didn't shine in The Great Gatsby. He failed at playing the part of Gatsby - and it's not really his acting skills that are the problem - the problem is that I won't be happy with anyone as Gatsby. And yes, it is kind of his acting. He's just not "suave" or even "debonair". If he was, he could have pulled this off.

And don't even get me started on the way that Nick was portrayed - I always thought of Nick as kind of a casual observer, watching life but not really taking part in it. For the movie, they made him take part in some - but he was played with such... GAH. They made him into a momma's boy, and I didn't like that. Not to mention the part that they through him into a mental institution... the boy's perfectly sane.

My mother and father, while listening to my ranting about this movie commented that actors from this time "don't know how to play characters from that time period. They aren't suave, and there's nothing about them that seems gentlemanly". I think that they're right, and it was probably one of my biggest issues.

On the other hand, I thought that Carey Mulligan did wonderfully as Daisy Buchanan. She is quite the destroyer, and she doesn't even realize that she's doing it. Carey played Daisy with the perfect disregard for other's emotions - the perfect feel for the character. Her acting was well done.

I don't wish to alarm anyone, but don't expect period music with this movie. I was expecting great music (from the '20's, of course) to play in this movie, but the soundtrack appears to be completely made up of top 40 type music - meaning that it's the new stuff. Rap and pop dominated, and I did watch the special features - it appears that they wanted to make this generation understand the time better.

That backfired, because I'm of this generation and it threw me out of this movie. Top 40 hits should not be played in a classic book to movie, in my humble opinion. All in all, I wouldn't recommend this movie for fans of the book, or even those like me who just "liked" the book. It's not particularly worth the time.

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