The Great Gatsby


Baz Luhrmann's ambitious adaptation of the great American novel Reviews

© ITP Images

The purists have had their knives sharpened for months, and now that Baz Luhrmann’s 3D adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s canonical novel is finally here, the dissection and disembowelment can begin. This bombastic super-production is certainly its own strange beast: bluntly effective as melodrama, vividly colourful in its stereoscopic grandeur, never a dull moment - you just have to accept that the themes undergirding Fitzgerald’s precise prose (the bracing critiques of wilfully blind idealism and Jazz Age excess) have been squashed by overproduced spectacle. That’s a bit of a backbreaking proviso.

A seductive skin remains: Embittered narrator Nick Carraway (Maguire), self-made romantic Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) and flighty flapper Daisy Buchanan (Mulligan) move with great ease through the story’s tragic-romantic beats. Yet while the book’s metaphorical signposts all appear, and Fitzgerald’s text is often spoken verbatim, there’s something crucial missing. You can trace it to Luhrmann’s overblown aesthetic: The anachronistic pop-music cues, digitally augmented tracking shots and disco globe glittery production design don’t recreate the headiness of early 20th century New York so much as invent a billowy fantasy otherworld in the gauzy vein of Twilight. Shorn of its American roots, a biting tale of adult extravagance becomes insubstantially tween-aged.

By Keith Uhlich
Time Out Dubai,

The Great Gatsby

  • Duration: 143
  • Released: Thu, 16 May
  • Classification: 15+
  • Language: English
  • Director: Baz Luhrmann
  • Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire, Amitabh Bachchan, Steve Bisley, Richard Carter, Jason Clarke, Adelaide Clemens

User reviews:

Posted by: dominic on 03 Jun ' 13 at 13:43

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I didn't read the book but it must be better then this. the cinematography makes it worth watch for about 10 minutes but make no mistake this is a total chick flick. And become more and more of a love story with every passing minute. Women will love it. Men who need brownie points take your gf's and wife's but don't go expecting to enjoy more then the opening 10 minutes. Yawn. How does this get 2 stars and hangover 3 just 1!

Posted by: Neeil on 03 Jun ' 13 at 12:49

The story is nice and simple; hence if you are going in for the narrative, then please don’t expect much. Whereas the production and costume designs are spectacular, making you want to live in the 1920’s.

The film is sheer elegance filled with excellent talent from end to end. It felt like a pop-up book of fairy tales when I was a kid who made me want to live in the times and immerse myself in their lives. Therefore if a film can place me into its fictional world, then I see it as a job well done.

What I am trying to say is to watch this film to appreciate colors, design, special effects, production design, and costume design. Credit goes to Catherine Martin who is brilliant at what she does, and who would have thought that the film was shot in studios in Sydney, Australia.

Note: do yourself a favor and listen to the soundtrack!

My score - 8 out of 10

Neeil Bhatia

Posted by: Emad on 20 May ' 13 at 21:58

Edited by

Movie looks really good, they did a great job on replicating that era, from the clothes to the way people talked, however the story is just plain stupid. I was told by somebody who had read the book this movie didn't do the story justice and many details were not clear. Two thumbs down from me.

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