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Does the Green Light of the Bay still shine for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby?

The world has gone Gatsby-crazy in the build up to Luhrmann’s much anticipated adaptation of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. But is it worth all the hype? Judging by the harsh critical reviews I was dubious about what the Romeo & Juliet director was going to make of this much loved book, a classic which encapsulates the grandeur of the 1920’s. With a musical score largely influenced by music giant Jay-Z, I was bracing myself for a hip-hop fuelled massacre of the Jazz Age; however, I was pleasantly surprised. As predicted the film was extremely Luhrmann-esque: frills, feathers and flamboyance, no expense was spared to capture the lustre of Gatsby’s opulent parties. With the impeccable casting of Carey Mulligan as the perfectly frivolous Daisy, Tobey Maguire as the docile Nick Carraway and Leonardo DiCaprio as the gentile Gatsby, in my eyes the casting is faultless. Luhrmann surprisingly does not overlook the novel’s delicately poetic symbolism, if anything overplaying it, so as not to escape the audience’s acknowledgement.  Of course the production’s overt dramatics may not appeal to all, but could anyone expect anything less from this quintessentially  ostentatious director! In spite of some of the more inauthentic musical accompaniments, my advice would be to cast aside the negative scorn of the press, for avid fans of the book, it will not disappoint.

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Liv Bennett

Southampton

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