“The Great Gatsby” stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the mysterious millionaire who tries to win back his one true love.
I should admit, for the sake of full-disclosure, that I didn’t like the F. Scott Fitzgerald book “The Great Gatsby.” I also did not love the 1974 film version, which speaks volumes given how beautiful Robert Redford was in that movie. I always found the characters to be vapid and self-centered, specifically the manic Daisy Buchanan. I DID however, love the glamour and if there was EVER a director who could properly convey the glitz of the Jazz Age, it would be Baz Lurhmann.
“The Great Gatsby” resembles his “Moulin Rouge” in many ways, specifically its elaborate dance sequences. There is one glaring difference though: The ROMANCE. The unrequited love of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchannan fizzles here like a damp cigarette. There are absolutely NO sparks whatsoever. In fact, there are more sparks between Toby Maquire’s Nick Carraway and Gatsby, but I’m not sure that’s what Luhrmann intended. The movie also feels soulless. DiCaprio tries his hardest to sell Gatsby and Joel Edgerton is great as the shady Tom Buchanan, but everyone else seems to be posing, like it’s one big Chanel No 5 commercial.
This movie is truly stunning to look at but you don’t care about the people or the love story. At its heart it’s hollow and pointless and that’s why I’m giving this Great Gatsby a D. Baz Lurhmann wanted to give us a glitzed out version of a classic, but instead he made the most expensive daytime soap-opera in history.