The Great Gatsby ***

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Run Time: 143 mins Cert: 12A

 

Synopsis: Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the movie tells the story of rich war veteran Jay Gatsby and his neighbour Nick Carraway.

 

The movie begins on Long Island, New York in 1922 when Nick Caraway (Tobey Maguire) a war veteran and University graduate, decides to rent a house there while working in the city. On moving there, he hears stories about his neighbour Mr Gatsby (Leonardo Dicaprio) which he is intrigued by. One night he is invited to one of Gatsby’s many parties and a friendship begins.

 

Of the two lead males, Dicaprio gives the stronger performance. He is both entertaining and believable as the title character. His love for Daisy (Carey Mulligan) is the root of everything he does and drives his desire to be rich and powerful.

 

Maguire on the other hand gives a rather dull performance as Nick. His character oesn’t do much except observe and assist Gatsby although his narration is good.

 

British actress Carey Mulligan gives a reasonably good performance as Daisy, Nick’s cousin and Gatsby’s lover. However the character is not particularly likeable. She doesn’t know what she wants and tries to have the best of both worlds. There are times when you feel sorry for her but as the story progresses this is less so.

 

While Daisy’s husband is not the most likeable character, Joel Edgerton gives a fairly good performance. The supporting cast also do a good job with one cast member in particular being unrecognisable until the very end.

 

Despite being set in the 1920s, the film contains modern day pop music as well as new covers of the era’s music. With songs performed by artists such as Beyonce and Florence and the Machine, the soundtrack is one of the movie’s strong points.

 

The 3D was very disappointing. Given that most of the movie’s scenes are at night, there is little room for 3D and the daytime scenes under-utilise it.

 

Overall “The Great Gatsby” is very average. While there are some good performances and a great soundtrack, the film feels a bit flat and drags towards the end.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

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