On Monday, I had a rare (and yet familiar) treat. One that gave me a pleasant flashback to my film reviewing days of old pre-internet times!
As tie-in promotion to the Picador movie-jacketed edition of the classic novel, and with thanks to Picador and to Warner Bros, I had the opportunity of viewing the new movie adaptation by Baz Luhrmann in the wonderful and luxurious surroundings of the preview screening room at Warner Bros London offices.
I’m always a little dubious of 3D movies (of which this was one) and rarely choose that option if a 2D version is available. With a running time of over two and half hours I was concerned about sitting that long and coping with the potential headache that many a 3D viewing seem to give me.
I’m very pleased to report, however, that all concerns were swiftly kicked aside before the first high kicks of the dancers on screen. The incredibly comfortable screening room seats probably helped a fair bit – But the 3D was fantastic, the musical score sweeping and, despite worries that a modern soundtrack produced by Jay-Z would jar and feel out of place with the 1922 setting, it all just seemed to work – making that running time seem no problem at all for this viewer.
The cast are superb across the board, although I will say that I had issues at first with Leonardo DiCaprio’s accent and the many occasions I felt he was doing an impression of Robert Redford from the same role in the 1974 version. Carey Mulligan plays Daisy perfectly and Tobey Maguire as writer Nick Carraway is equally good, as are all of the supporting cast around the trio.
With explosive party sequences, car chases that would send a shiver down many a stuntman’s spine and some beautifully staged and photographed quieter moments between the leads, including some great moments where the text of the novel floats onto the screen and out towards the audience, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Great Gatsby’.
I would say, that on a personal note, Luhrmann’s previous movie with DiCaprio ‘Romeo & Juliet ‘ just had the edge for me, but this was a fine piece of quality moviemaking and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to have seen it in such comfortable surroundings.