[TT] Movie Review: Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby

There has always been considerably scrutiny when a book is adapted into a movie. Baz Luhrmann's take on The Great Gatsby was not free of skepticism and [harsh] criticism. I was one of the lucky high school students to be able to read this book as a part of the English curriculum. I admit that the English, at the time, eluded me and caused more confusion that was later thickened by my teacher's passion for dissecting every inch of the book and sap every possible metaphor from each word. Nevertheless, The Great Gatsby is a fine piece of English literature that I wish I was able to take a class on in my University years.

I reread the book before watching the movie with much difficulty. I went to the theatre wondering which details from the book that Luhrmann would incorporate or leave out.

My final verdict of the movie is that it may not reflect some people's passion for the written literature, as it would have taken more than 2 hours to cover every motif and theme with as much detail as the book. A lot of the movie's motifs are better understood to those who have read the novel. Despite this, I love The Great Gatsby as a movie in itself. Considering past movies by Luhrmann, namely Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge, he has a flare for dazzling and eccentric visualizations. His dreamy CG and strategic transitioning is one of the reasons why I can name Luhrmann as my favourite director.

The soundtrack for the movie is fantastic. "Over the Love" sung by Florence and the Machines and "Young and Beautiful" sung by Lana Del Rey were perfect additions to the movie, despite it not being periodically accurate.

All in all, Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby has effortlessly made it to my list of favourite movies. The glamour factor and expertly-timed comedic moments are breath-taking. Perhaps because Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge are also two of my favourite films, I have a major bias for Luhrmann films. Nevertheless, The Great Gatsby does a fantastic job in capturing a beautiful fantasy with the 1920's as a back-drop. I found myself captured by the glitter and tantalizing music that, in my opinion, exemplified the hope of Gatsby's vision.

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