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The Great Gatsby (2013) Movie Review

January 19, 2014

I never had the pleasure of reading The Great Gatsby in school. Though I recall clearly certain classmates walking around with it, I never considered reading it. When I first saw the trailers for “The Great Gatsby” I was not particularly enamored by what I saw. The glitz and glamor at the heart of the story became the center of the advertising. For a time it was rumored that Jay Z would be doing the music, which meant I would never watch the film in theaters. What if it was just some big wasteful party film filled with hip hop?

Thankfully, though it has short snippets of extravagant party music, it does not get over-used and is always used tastefully. Many of the songs central to the film are much more elegant, along with the music by Craig Armstrong. Armstrong’s score captures the outward appearance of royalty Gatsby portrays while also exploring the softer emotions hiding beneath.

Though I can’t say how accurately the film portrayed the novel, I found Baz Lurhmann’s portrayal to be enchanting. The true story is revealed in bits and pieces so that the unfamiliar viewer is pulled along wondering what little details will come out next. Leonardo DiCaprio’s powerful performance only serves to sweeten the allure.

Perhaps the marketing department relied on enough people knowing the true story under the shiny trailers. However, the marketing that was meant to lure in those without a clue simply served to push me away. “The Great Gatsby” is a fine film that is especially important to watch given the similarities between the time portrayed and recent times. I highly recommend it.

4.5/5

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