After a bit of a delay this weekend, I got around to seeing the new Great Gatsby movie. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a few months, and I’m sad to say that I was a bit disappointed.
There wasn’t one particular thing that stood out to me as horrid, but after the movie there was a general sense of dissatisfaction. If I were to pick one thing that was the worst, I would say it’s the pacing of the plot. There are some important parts that I felt are rushed through and some insignificant scenes that drag on far too long. Or, there are moments that were rightfully included, but they grew annoying simply because they didn’t end the scene when it should have been ended. So, yes: the pacing was the worst.
To counteract the pacing, though, was what I felt was a fantastic cast. Even though I dislike Tobey Maguire (it’s something about his voice), who plays Nick Carraway, he played Carraway’s character very well. Leonardo DiCaprio was, ahem, a great Gatsby – sorry, the pun was unavoidable, and Joel Edgerton embodied Tom Buchanan very well. All three men were solid in their performances, but really I have to give it to the ladies in this one.
Carey Mulligan (Daisy Buchanan), Isla Fisher (Myrtle Wilson), and Elizabeth Debicki (Jordan Baker) all were their characters. Mulligan was just as ditzy and emotionally unsteady as I had pictured her from the book, and Fisher was obnoxious and clingy as Myrtle.
Then, there’s Debicki as Jordan Baker. I had no idea who Debicki was before this movie, but I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on her in the future. For me at least, her performance as Jordan was riveting, and arguably the best part of the entire movie. She was sultry and wasn’t as forward as Daisy, but kept to the background as a more level character. I know she was a minor character in the book, but I really wished they had expanded her character, since they took such creative license with one other aspect of the book to movie translation.
Which brings me to my final point, and my secondary reason for the dislike I feel towards the movie. They had Nick Carraway narrating from an asylum, as a recovering alcoholic. Okay, I could handle that, BUT it turned into his narrating throughout the entire 2+ hour debacle, and they portrayed it as it was HE who had written the book about his experiences with Gatsby. Maybe not a huge offense in the long run, but really? Was that necessary? It might just be the purist in me, but come on…
Overall, it was really pretty to look at, with all the flashing lights and dresses and sparkles. I’m not sure about the accuracy of the appearances, but it was nice to look at. Oh, and one other thing that I just remembered (see – I knew there was a lot to dislike): the music. Other than one song, it was almost an abomination that they put that rap stuff over the JAZZ AGE scenes. It had a nice effect, but really broke up the believability of the settings. Like, really? That’s what you went with?