Weekend tip: Go see the Great Gatsby

Yesterday I went to the premiere of the most anticipated movie of the year:  The Great Gatsby. I had great expectations of this movie as it was hyped in all magazines, websites and tv shows. And as an American Studies graduate, I just couldn’t wait to see this adaption of the American classic novel. So here’s my verdict:

The Great Gatsby is a must-see, but not for the plot, acting or directing. It’s a must-see for the dazzling production: stunning costumes, detailed interior design, and beautiful scenery. [continue reading after the video]

What was not so great

I didn’t like the characters, they were flat and portrayed as superficial. There are just a handful of scenes where you can sense the roaring twenties and can indulge in the frenzy of the Jazz Age world. The classic story got a modern adaption, and I don’t mind that, but dancing on Kanye West and Jay Z music went a bit too far for my taste. I also didn’t get the value of making it a 3D version. The scenes and camera angles were changing fast enough in itself without the exaggerating effects the 3D created.

But let’s talk happy things…

What was great

Great fashion – Tiffany’s jewelry, glitz and glam fashion and lavish luxury accessories. The movie is truly about excessive glamour, opulence, and glitter. The costuming captures the nouveau riche in the roaring 20s perfectly. Muiccia Prada is responsible for 40 costumes in the film. Tiffany & Co. designed the stunning collection of platinum-set diamonds and pearls  for the film. And Helen Moore has created faux fur collars to give Twenties-inspired outfits a modern twist. More is more in this movie, and I’m sure this movie will set the agenda for our own fashion designs the coming seasons.

Gatsby fashion

Great decor – I also loved the decor and details in interior design. In the Architectural Digest I read: “Catherine Martin oversaw 42 individual sets created in and around Sydney, both on location and on soundstages. It took her team 14 weeks just to build, paint, and decorate Gatsby’s mansion, which called for a grand ballroom, library, master bedroom, entrance hall, and terrace, as well as a garden. Designs for the residence were based on the great early-20th-century houses of Long Island’s North Shore—places like Oheka Castle, La Selva, and Beacon Towers.”

great gatsby interior design

Great cars – Although a few of the cars in the movie were computer generated and added in in post-production, one car was real: the yellow Rolls Roys. The movie is chock full of shiny old-timers with their perky headlights and broad leather seats. In those days a symbol of the American Dream, now something to drool over in the Great Gatsby.

gatsby cars

3 thoughts on “Weekend tip: Go see the Great Gatsby

  1. What a great review – Thank you!!

    I never go and see hyped film within the first week. I knew it wouldn’t live up to the original but am very intrigued about the fashion and set designs. The reason I didn’t go yet is because of the 3D. Really put me off. I will report once I’ve been!

    1. So, finally saw the movie.

      Suprisingly, I loved it. For me, the characters weren’t flat but so true to the sign of the times and despite not being a Leo fan, he was good.

      My reluctance to the 3D was eased by the 30% where it came into its own.

      It was always a challenge to update a classic movie but I think they pulled it off. I welcomed the music. It made it current, hip and innovative!

  2. I’ve never been a fan of Baz Luhrmann’s filmography, and his new Gatsby project is no exception. This is an amazing book, but his adaptation to the screen employs rap music and modern references here and there that do not fit the story at all. Now, I’m not a cinema purist when it comes to adding modern hints in period pieces, but the way Luhrmann does it is too obvious to benefit from subtlety. Also, Carey Mulligan and Isla Fisher should’ve switched their respective roles as Daisy and Myrtle: the casting choices there were not great. Each woman would’ve played the other character better, and the movie would’ve benefitted greatly. As for DiCaprio and Maguire, they played their characters on par with Fitzgerald’s writing, and added some character nuances that only great actors can pull off, so bravo to them. If you’re a fan of the story, it might be worthwhile to check out the movie, but don’t set high expectations.

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