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The Great Gatsby  : Great Indeed
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Friday, May 17, 2013
Romantic drama
Baz Luhrmann
Amitabh Bachchan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Clarke, Steve Bisley, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire
A young couple madly in love, torn by war and unwieldy societal expectations, finally meets only to tear apart once again, this time, causing a lot of destruction all around. A novel as sweeping as The Great Gatsby can't possibly be explained in just so many words and it is equally difficult to transform it into a film. Indeed, a lot of expectations are bound to be placed on it and Buz Luhrmann's adaptation certainly comes close to fulfilling most of it.

The plot: In the 1922 New York of jazz, bootlegging and shooting stocks, where morals are loose and partying is the coolest way to live, Nick Carraway (Tobey Magurie) lands next door to the lord of partying, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). New York and Jay's life seem like a glittering mirage for Nick but he soon gets to be a part of this upper-grade of people. Nick becomes the mysterious, millionaire loner, Jay's favourite man – it’s a huge help of course that Nick’s cousin is Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). Daisy is the sole purpose of Jay’s life, his one and only love for whom he has built this empire, and she’s finally within his reaching grasp. The only thing between him and Daisy now is her husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). But what seems like a simple enough dream is much more than just that; the simple hurdles are actually insurmountable mountains. Jay's hope clouds his judgement and he can't see the shallowness of people surrounding him nor can he see his lover's betrayal towards the end...his end.
The good: Superb, heartfelt performances come from each and every character, right from Leonardo DiCaprio to Jason Clarke as Wilson (the husband of Tom's mistress, Myrtle Wilson played by Isla Fisher). It’s amazing to see Leonardo DiCaprio as a rather hopeful, hopeless romantic; it will remind you of the Leonardo from the Titanic days. Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton and Carey Mulligan are fantastic and leave no room for any complaint. In a small two-minute role, Amitabh Bachchan shines as Meyer Wolfsheim; but this character could've easily been played by anyone else too, and AB has no further role to play in it.

The Great Gatsby is like a Hollywood film made with a Bollywood formula and it will work...at least for the Indian audiences.

Craig Armstrong's music will transport you back in time and the elaborate, visually alluring sets by Beverley Dunn will certainly have you wishing you were born in the New York of those times. The distinction between the coal-mine areas and the high-class West Egg property and the city has been acutely portrayed. Catherine Martin's costumes are fancy and perfect. And Simon Duggan's beautiful cinematography helps those bygone years come alive. 

The bad: The movie at 2 hours 23 minutes is long even if it is the subject's requirement, and is a bit slow. The duration is one sore point on which the movie might lose some of its audience and the other is the 3D. There is absolutely no need for the movie to be in 3D. It is just an unnecessarily painful (thanks to the heavy 3D glasses) experience.
Overall: The Great Gatsby does justice to Fitzgerald's epic and is an intense experience of the lavish, the beautiful, the ugly and the gruesome face of society, all mixed into one. 

– Priyanka Ketkar
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