Watching The Great Gatsby made me constantly remember Bhansali and his Devdas and Saawariya. Mounted on a decisively and deliberate excessive visual palate, The Great Gatsby is a pedantic glittery take on what is universally considered the greatest American novel.
With the story of Jay Gatsby, the enigmatic centre of a dozen odd super rich bordering on the gaudy parties, looking to undo five years of separation from his love Daisy, while managing a career on the wrong side of the law, Baz luhrmann creates a world that is shallow, carefree, careless and self indulgent to the point of being perversely inhuman. Yet at the heart of the story is a sad heart wrenching love saga that peeps out from behind the blinding glamor all over the films two odd hour runing length.
Not exactly sticking to the book word to word, writers Luhrmann and Pearce weave in a visual metaphor to the universal timeless theme of the film, of fantasy and the will to make those fantasies true, the American spirit so to say. Surreal transitions coupled with a interesting and unique usage of 3D for a film that is not an action extravaganza double the preposterous outlandishness of the parties booze and loose morals of the time the film is set in, A brilliant musical score that is a sure shot at the academy awards this year is also as audaciously brave as is the visual lingo of Luhrmann's world.
Despite the series of deleriously excessive jazz parties, one cannot but ignore the pathos laden innocence with which Gatsby tries to get back the love of his life, the reason behind all the glitzy life and parties he builds around himself, the shallowness of his existence. The innate childlike desrie and stuborn will to make up for the lost five years and for all the moments he would fantasise of spending with the love of his life Daisy. Luhrmann chooses to make us view Gatsby's life in flashback through the eyes of Carraway, who sort of is the voice of history taking stock of the changing mores of American society through the tale of a lovelorn couple lost in the blinding gaze of seduction power money and ambition.
DiCaprio as Gatsby is sauve, vulnerable and endearingly brash. He brings a believability to the role, making one feel for the pain the character goes through. Mulligan as Daisy is not the prettiest sight in the world yet is compelling, commanding submission to her charm and wit. Tobey plays a impish overseer with a distinct charm and aloofness making his presence felt despite an overbearing DiCaprio. Amitabh in his extra short cameo prooves his class as an international legend, making an impression wishing he had more screen time.
What is the real hero of the film though is the distinct directors touch to the proceedings. Shallow pretentiousness masking pain and pathos was never this beautifully portrayed on screen A brave attempt that plays out with finesse and grandiose. Catch this in 3D and on the big screen, it is one of the best from Hollywood this year for sure.view less