Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby on the big screen was simply amazing. I personally do not approve of movie adaptations of books, but this one truly astonished me. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby introduced us to the memorable characters of Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Nick Carraway, and Jordan Baker who have become literary icons today. The task of bringing these characters to life was risky, yet accomplished quite beautifully. Like any movie adaptation, it lacked very minor details from the book; however, its astounding cast and beautiful visual effects make up for it.
The Gatsby cast was composed of splendid actors. The central characters, Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby, were played by Tobey McGuire and Leonardo DiCaprio (respectively). DiCaprio is truly amazing in this role; he makes you believe that he was the actual Jay Gatsby. We all know Tobey McGuire from his Spiderman films, but he makes an emotional and believable Nick Carraway. He conjures enough emotion to portray Mr. Carraway such as F. Scott Fitzgerald had. Daisy Buchanan is played by Carey Mulligan. She is not the “perfect” Daisy, but she shines in the Plaza Hotel scene. She re-enacts that scene as you would have imagined it in your head as you read the book. Tom Buchanan is played by Joel Edgerton; he is not as aggressive as I had imagined in the novel, but still does a fine job. Elizabeth Debicki plays Jordan Baker, and brings the flamboyance and luxurious air that Jordan emits in the novel. She, like DiCaprio, has you believing that she is the actual Jordan Baker.
The story line of the movie is almost identical to that of the novel, which always brings me hope that movie adaptations can be as good as the novel. Some tidbits were left out, but they were minor details that could hardly ruin such a marvelous film. The visuals are beyond stunning, form the fireworks to Gatsby’s parties. The scenery ranges from the luxurious East and West Eggs to the desolate, dirt poor Valley of Ashes. The sceneries are so vibrant and colorful, making the movie so eye-pleasing. Not to mention the soundtrack! The soundtracks modern tune and songs relates to the ambience and Gatsby’s and Daisy’s relationship. When artist Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” plays in the scene when Gatsby invites Daisy to his house, I felt this beautiful feeling that movies can rarely give you. The music was almost tailored for the movie.
Overall, this is an astonishing film. I recommend it to all who have not seen it yet. And to those who have already watched it, watch it again! I have seen this movie twice, and it was as good the second time as it was the first. I can rarely say that about movies, but this one is one of the exceptions. I cannot wait until it comes out on Netflix or on DVD. It is a must-see film!