For my birthday the Mister wanted to take me out to see a movie of my choice at the theater. This is a rare treat for us, we usually just wait for things to come out on dvd. Normally I would have chosen something action packed because I know we both enjoy that type of movie and I have to admit that I leaned heavily towards watching Iron Man 3, but, instead, I decided on The Great Gatsby.
Unlike so many of you, I have never read the book. I just never got around to reading it. Plus, I haven't ever seen any of the prior movie versions. So, going in to see the movie, I had no preconceived notion of how things were supposed to happen or really even what the story was about. I was just there for the fashion, the glitz and glam, - oh and Leonardo DiCaprio. There, I admit it.
Gatsby did not disappoint me on all of those points. The visuals in this film are fantastic. There are glorious colors and elaborate costumes and the sets are art deco masterpieces. Here, let me say that I am not versed in all things 1920s so I have no idea if the costumes and sets were historically accurate, I just know that they were stunningly beautiful. And, Leonardo was superb in his role as Jay Gatsby showing both vulnerability and strength.
The film did, however, disappoint me in several other areas. The fact that it is in 3D is my biggest gripe. I always get a headache watching 3D movies, and with some of the camera angles and movements, there's lots of sweeping, swirling motions in this film, made that so much worse for me.
Having not ever read the book, I’m not sure how the story should have gone, but the storyline in the film fell a little flat for me. I get that Gatsby started with nothing and climbed his way into money any way he could to win back the love of Daisy. What I didn't get from watching the film, is why? I mean, they tell you why, obviously, but it doesn't feel all that believable to me because, to me, Carey Mulligan’s performance as Daisy kind of gets lost in the over the top visuals.
Another thing I wasn't crazy about was the soundtrack. I understand why the director chose modern music – lots of Beyonce and JayZ – but I would have preferred more authentic 20s jazz, although, the Mister liked the more modern music.
Overall, I liked the film. I believe it is visually stunning, full of glitz and glamour, and on that end alone would recommend seeing it. But for me, it is more style over substance.