Movie Review: The Great Gatsby [2013]

Gatsby? What Gatsby?
I finally watched this year's most anticipated, my sister's favorite and Leonardo's another Oscar hope-movie The Great Gatsby. Directed by Academy Award nominee Baz Luhrmann, it has everything his movies tend to have.

This is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name, which I have not read, and accordingly I can't tell how precisely the story is told, or can it be any better or not. But what I can really say is that this movie has something extraordinary making watching experience very enjoyable. 

The movie follows war veteran Nick Carraway after moving to New York City just right beside the wealthiest man in town - Jay Gatsby. This is how it works - story plays backwards. Nick in the future tells & writes his adventure from past - how he met the most important person in his life. It easily looks like Carraway still admires Jay and you might get a feeling that you're listening to a very subjective version of whole truth.

Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) is one of the wealthiest man of New York, well-known for his rich, bohemian, crowded and spectacular parties. Every weekend, all party-loving men and women of NYC gather in a huge palace and Mr. Gatsby to be a part of most extravagant show in entire state. But most of them have no idea who he really is, mostly because Jay never shows up during parties, unless one particular person attends it. This is Nick's cousin Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby and Buchanan met each other long time ago, before Jay left for war and fell in love. Then they promised each other to live together (as it always happens), however for no reason, the guy never comes back (well, he is technically alive). Since then, Jay shoots the best parties on the west coast hoping that one day she will come back (I don't know how, he never invites her) and they'll reunite, despite Daisy being married.
The scene where Jay is waiting for Daisy. One of the best parts of the movie
Gatsby is happy to meet Nick Carraway - the only vital link between him and long lost love. Nick, on the other hand, is ready to help them in getting back together, for this reason he brings Daisy with her husband on Jay's another party.

There are some really big reasons you should watch The Great Gatsby:

First, this movie delivers more emotions and drama then any other of the same genre. Each scene of Gatsby & Buchanan is full of despair, love, drama. And all these emotions are silent, expressed only in eyes, smiles, looks, movements, but not in words. Baz did a great job by making those scenes.

Second, the visuals. It is one of the most beautiful movies this year. Production design, cinematography and costumes are brilliant, shiny, colorful and delightful. Every scene of the movie bring a lot visual joy and entertainment.

Third, each scene of party is another reason to see the film. They are brilliantly directed and mounted, with awesomely synchronous and crazy dances. Probably, parties are the best parts of whole movie.
Fourth - soundtracks. Lana Del Rey just makes whole experience even more unique with her sweat, calm voice and probably, future Oscar winner song Young & Beautiful. Also, covers of many well known songs (like Back to Black) performed by Beyonce, Jay Z, Will.I.Am. and etc perfectly deliver spirit of early 20s.

And finally, Leonardo. He does not give an award winning performance, he is not as good as in The Aviator or Blood Diamond but he is still brilliant. Actually, DiCaprio can act any role. His Jay is passionate, explosive, dramatic and very sensitive. There is a scene in movie, which can potentially bring many nominations to him, if the critics loved the film - Jay fights with Daisy's husband and this couple minutes episode is so much crazy and natural that Leo still made me say WOW.

All in all, The Great Gatsby is definitely enjoyable and interesting movie that brings full package of entertainment. It is well directed, acted and outstandingly designed film. However, I still had a little problem with story, which did not work much for me. However, it is highly recommended to watch.

See my Oscar Predictions for The Great Gatsby


  1. Hi Nika, overall I enjoyed this one too. The film is more style than substance, I guess Baz took it quite too literally about Gatsby's life, ahah, I reckon the book perhaps has more emotional depth/substance. That said, the style itself and its cinematography are brilliant. Btw you refer to Leo as 'she' in one of the paragraph, ahah, it happens to me a few times too. Yeah I think Leo is just ok here, I was more impressed by the supporting cast, esp. Joel Edgerton. I LOVE Young & Beautiful. For a while I was obsessed w/ that song!

  2. Oh, my mistake, again. Thanks Ruth :)

    I actually agree with Joel, he was quite good. But you know, there is not much to talk about cast here, they all are doing well, but no one is exceptional.