Published on October 4th, 2013 | by Admin
The Great Gatsby DVD Review
Summary: The beginning and the end with The Great Gatsby is that if you do not like Baz Luhrmann films in general, you will not like this films. Luhrmann films have been known in the past to be an acquired taste. The sad thing about this film as opposed to many of his other films is that the Luhrmann extravagance is lost from the big screen to the small screen.
Lost at home!
Running Time: 143 minutes
Reviewer: Nicole Newton-Plater
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby has had its lovers and haters since it’s highly anticipated cinematic release a few months ago. However, even those who loved this latest version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic will be disappointed once they see the film on the small screen. It is a travesty how much the film loses when it is no longer on a movie screen and instead in your own home. This could be fixed if you have an incredible home entertainment system, but many people don’t have the luxury of such as system which will restore The Great Gatsby to it’s cinematic glory.
When Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) moves to Long Island, New York, he quickly finds himself swept into the world of the rich and famous by his cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) and her husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton). Before long he meets his enigmatic neighbour, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) who has many secrets, including one involving Daisy, and loses himself even more into this cruel and dangerous world of extravagance.
Extravagance is the key word here. Not only is it used to describe the world created by author Fitzgerald, but it is the word one can use to describe Luhrmann’s whole production of The Great Gatsby. There is nothing subtle about this film. Subtlety is not something which is present in Luhrmann films as a general rule, but he really does go over the top with this film. In all honesty he has to be congratulated on his ambition and it is not as though his ambition hasn’t paid off. Visually The Great Gatsby is a marvel and really quite beautiful. The cinematography, although the CGII can be a little dodgy at times, is as a whole well done. The costumes and sets are incredible. Luhrmann has made the New York of the 1920’s look amazing and like the place to be, in particular the party scenes at Gatsby’s house are magical, but completely over the top. It does in more ways than one mirror scenes of one of Luhrmann’s earlier films, Moulin Rouge! Perhaps the most exaggerated part of this film occurs at one of these parties when Gatsby reveals himself and is accompanied by fireworks and an orchestra. It is such a cheesy moment which will be scoffed at by many. Again, it is a beautiful shot, but completely unnecessary in the way which it is presented.
The beginning and the end with The Great Gatsby is that if you do not like Baz Luhrmann films in general, you will not like this films. Luhrmann films have been known in the past to be an acquired taste. The sad thing about this film as opposed to many of his other films is that the Luhrmann extravagance is lost from the big screen to the small screen. In a cinema, The Great Gatsby is all encompassing and you feel as though you really are in the same world as Nick Carraway. You don’t feel this at all when you watch it at home and therefore what was seen as great fun at the cinema is just a little too much on the small screen.
The performances by the actors themselves are all quite well done. Again, maybe a bit over the top in places, but nobody is over the top to the point of just cheesy. Leonardo DiCaprio is wonderful as Jay Gatsby, particularly in the scene where he is about to see Daisy for the first time in five years. Tobey Maguire does well, but his best acting is right at the end of the film. Carey Mulligan does well enough and Joel Edgerton is great in his terrifying way.
The special features on the DVD are an absolute disappointment. The only feature there is are the deleted scenes. It would have been great for DVD owners to know a bit more about the making of the film, considering it was such a production.