Ever since I saw the trailers of The Great Gatsby, I was hooked. There’s something about period dramas and the way they offer a glimpse of life in a bygone era that excites me, and the ‘20s was a particularly fascinating decade marked by glamour and debauchery. The film is adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great literary masterpiece. Usually, I’m a bit wary of book to film adaptions but Baz Luhrmann makes it work. Check out my top 5 reasons to watch this film.
As you know, my head is wrapped around all things fashion. True to the ‘20s style – the costumes featured cloche hats, fringed flapper dresses, pearl necklaces, drop waists, furs and sequins aplenty. The finishing touches were dripping diamonds provided exclusively by Tiffany’s. Miuccia Prada – designer of Miu Miu and Prada designed some 40 dresses for Carey Mulligan’s character.
I loved the bob hairstyles and hairbands. FYI the bob haircut first emerged during this decade and was popularized by silent movie star Louise Brooks.
Aside from fashion, the sets really give you a reflection of that time. Feast your eyes on some beautiful vintage cars and the grandeur of the era. I especially love the art deco touches that made their way to the movie poster as well.
If you’ve watched Lhurmann’s most popular films such as Romeo + Juliet or Moulin Rouge, you’ll realize that he has a penchant for adding contemporary music against a period saga. He famously sampled the Bollywood track Chamm Chamma in Moulin Rouge. The Great Gatsby is no different. You will see scenes of New York being built to the songs of Will I Am or Tobey Maguire and Carey dancing the Charleston with Jay Z’s tracks playing in the background. There’s also a bit of jazz thrown in so you don’t feel totally cheated. Tracks from The XX, Beyonce, Lana Del Ray and Florence + Machine make their way to the OST.
I think what really shines through, is the excellent casting. Mulligan nails her part as Daisy Buchanan perfectly – that of a nubile and vulnerable young woman. I don’t think I need to wax eloquent on how great an actor Leonardo DiCaprio is – he essays the role of a mysterious millionaire hopelessly in love extremely well.
If you love Amitabh, you will love to see him as the Jewish mobster Meyer Wolfsheim. His presence fills up the screen and he holds his own against Leo and Tobey. However, I wish he didn’t attempt to slip in an American twang while delivering his dialogues – somehow it just didn’t work for me.
Have a watch of the movie and see if you agree with me – and in the meantime check out this handy character map.