High society in the 1920s isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and everybody has their issues. The Great Gatsby, based on the novel of the same title by famed American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, follows characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The movie, directed by Baz Luhrmann, follows Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he moves to work on Wall Street in New York. His tiny rented house is located next to the house of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who holds enormous parties every weekend that people flock to. Nobody is ever invited, except for Nick. Gatsby does this because he wants to get closer to Nick, so he can get closer to his cousin Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), whom he loves. I feel the role was a good fit for DiCaprio. I really enjoy when he plays the over-the-top characters. I was surprised to see Maguire as the main character/narrator, but he does a good job playing a character who is in over his head. Mulligan didn’t bring much to the character of Daisy, but then again Daisy is a shallow girl. This film has some great visuals and a great soundtrack. The music and visuals for the party scenes are fantastic; it really gives you the feeling of excess. That people in the 1920s high society had too much money and too much time. The costumes fit the time period very well. The story was a bit lacking, there was really nobody I was hoping to come out of this on top. Gatsby was my favorite character, but he was chasing Daisy, who didn’t prove to be a very good person. Daisy’s husband is cheating on her with everyone, and is another terrible person but she still goes back to him. The main character, Nick, never actually has his own opinion or gets involved with what’s going on. Maybe that makes him the smart one. Showing the seedy underbelly that was the 1920s high society is where the film really shines. Corruption and greed and how little these people, who spent every weekend together, cared about each other was front and center. Their selfishness was unparalleled, but still fun to watch.
Kyle Dowling is an employee of M3 Group and is pursuing a writing degree at LCC. He enjoys fiction writing, video games and movies.