The Great Gatsby is the return of Baz Luhrmann, director of Moulin Rouge!, to the world of supersized, kaleidoscopic entertainment. His film is the adaptation of the eponymous 1926 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which is as short and compact as this film is long and sprawling, clocking in at nearly two and a half hours.
Set on Long Island in 1922, a stone’s throw from New York City, in the posh villages of West Egg and East Egg, the protagonist and narrator of the story, the 29-year-old Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), moves into a small cottage on the grounds immediately bordering a palatial fortress where there are nightly parties that draw elegant crowds from across the state and beyond partaking in the near-orgiastic celebrations of money and booze.
The host, we learn, is a mysterious man called Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is Nick’s age, and rumors swirl as to the origin of his fortune. When Nick finally meets Gatsby, he is most impressed by his smile, about which Nick waxes lyrical when he describes it as “one of those rare smiles you may come across four or five times in your life.” Alas, despite the faithful (unlike most of the story’s characters, who effortlessly two-time their partners) adaptation of nearly every single line in the novel, this very important character trait does not make its way onto the big screen.
Read the full review at The Prague Post.
(Still of Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby. Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture – © 2013 Bazmark Film III Pty Limited via imdb.com)