And I, like many of the folks in line for the screening, had read the literary classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald in high school and thoroughly loved it. In fact, it was one of the few books that I actually kept in my collection after we finished that segment in school.
So when I discovered this advance screening I was very excited to check it out — plus a free movie in DC is hard to pass up!
As a history buff, I’m already a fan of the Roaring 20’s — everything from the flashy clothes, reckless behavior and the freedom that everyone seemed to embody at that time and The Great Gatsby is just that. But then I learned that rapper and entertain mogul, Jay-Z, would be handling the music for the soundtrack and I knew this movie was made for me!
So back to Tuesday, I went into the screening with an open mind because 1.) almost every book-to-movie adaptation is never done the way you would have imagined, 2.) with Jay-Z involved with the music, I knew it would be good but also be very modern/hip hop infused and 3.) I didn’t have high expectations. With these things in mind, I put on my 3D glasses and got ready for my a trip back to the 1920’s.
In my opinion, the movie was good for that it was… a remake of book that will always be a good book but hard remark to create. With that said, I still give it two thumbs up. I wasn’t disappointed but I wasn’t blown away either. The music was great, the costumes were fabulous and I think it did the book justice. But I will say, it was a remake that was made for the modern generation.
I mean, the one of many lines just explains it all:
“New York, 1922. The tempo of the city had changed sharply. The buildings were higher, the parties were bigger, the morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper.”
I like how the movie starts, it’s unexpected and sets the tone for the movie with Nick Carraway, played by Tobey Maguire, reflecting on the past and Gatsby. Then of course, Leonardo DiCapro did not disappoint. For me, he was Gatsby if I ever could have imagined him from the way he talked, the way he moved and my goodness the way he dressed! It was perfect!
And from there, you’re taken on a journey through the 1920’s where you meet the lovely Daisy Buchanan her husband, Tom, and friend, Jordan and host of other characters. And throughout the movie, I felt a part of every scene from the extravagant parties in Gatsby’s manor to the stolen moments between lovers to moments of grief and depression.
But I’ll stop there as not to give it all way but I say, if you liked the book, you’ll probably like the movie. Will it be the exact same? NO! And don’t come into theater thinking that it will be or you’ll be sorely disappointed. But if you come in, with an open mind, then I think you’ll enjoy. Now will I go see it again? Probably not, once is just enough.
My one complaint is the 3D — definitely not necessary. The 3D affected didn’t add anything to movie going experience and if I had gone to see this on my own, I would have opted to see it in 2D. Plus it’s much cheaper.
I also give The Great Gatsby soundtrack an almost two thumbs up. Based on what I heard in the movie and online already, I will buy the soundtrack but there are a few tracks I wasn’t happy with — namely, Beyonce’s cover of Back To Black, originally sung by the late Amy Winehouse. As big Amy Winehouse fan, I just can’t imagine anyone else singing especially in a movie set in the 1920’s when Amy has such a soulful voice. And, if you’re a fan of Amy than I think you’ll agree but other than that, I think Jay-Z produced a good set of music that intertwined very well with this modern take on the Roaring 20’s.
So modern day flappers and classy old sports (said in my Gatsby voice), dress up and take yourself out to the movies to see Gatsby — I think you’ll like. If you’re still undecided then wait, see what your friends think and decide from there.
Until next time,