The Great Gatsby (2013)
“The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.
This movie is made in the spirit of the grand old epics such as “Gone with the Wind”. From the sweeping views of New York City, grand viewpoints from the homes of the rich, to the opulence and finery of the wealthy, this film is big with a capital B. It is well acted with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton and Carey Mulligan.
The movie begins with a narration by Nick Carraway (Maguire) and he talks about the wealth of the 20s and the booming stock market. The movie for a time is shot after shot of the rich and their parties and fashions of this time period before the Great Depression. The champagne flows and unbridled lust is rampant. Carraway tells us about Gatsby for a time and the movie builds and keeps us waiting before we finally get to meet Mr. Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio). DiCaprio plays the emotions so well in this film, the love he has for his lost love Daisy, to the anger at the prospect of losing her again after she re-enters his life, to acting like a little boy when he is finally in her presence again. He is a mysterious man to a great extent until the end of the movie.
Gatsby is a tragic figure and the partying gives way to death and tragedy as the end approaches. The movie includes more than one violent death, with two of them being seen while one is off-screen except for the dead corpse afterward. The picture features strong language too and more than one married person having a sexual affair. For these reasons we are unable to award the movie our Dove Seal for family friendly viewing.