'The Great Gatsby' review: Big B shines in Bollywood-style entertainer


Charu Thakur,IBNLive.com
May 18, 2013 at 12:10pm IST

New Delhi: Baz Luhrmann's film might not have pleased the critics abroad due to its pomp, but we as Indians dig for the typical Bollywood entertainer. Opulent sets, dance, over-the-top dialogues just make us stand up in the theatre and whistle and clap. And, Baz Luhrmann gives you yet another opportunity to enjoy your heart out with his latest offering 'The Great Gatsby'.

The film revolves around a war veteran Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) who comes to live in New York and finds himself drawn to the lifestyle of his millionaire neighbour Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Only to find that his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) was the love interest of Gatsby a few years ago and later agrees to help him in winning over Daisy once again.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's book has seen many cinematic renditions and the latest in the addition doesn't disappoint you at all. Baz Luhrmann, in fact, gives a new lease of life to F. Scott Fitzgerald's characters by adding a little more drama and colour to the love story.

'The Great Gatsby' review: Big B shines in Bollywood-styled entertainer

Baz Luhrmann gives you yet another opportunity to enjoy your heart out with his latest offering 'The Great Gatsby'.

Baz Luhrmann stays true to the book through most of the film and the storyline and he, in fact, takes care of the minutest of the details when referring to the America of the 1920s. But what works in favour of Luhrmann all the more is the opulent and majestic sets that take your breath away in the first half of the film. And, the 3D effect just adds to the carnival of colour. From the snowflakes running through you at the beginning of the film to the jazzy and lavish parties thrown in by Gatsby to Gatsby's first meeting with Daisy at Nick's place, Luhrmann justifies the excellent use of the 3D effect in the film.

However, the film might seem over-the-top in some parts but Luhrmann just plays with your imagination to such an extent that you have nothing else but to surrender yourself in the celebration and carnival of love. With jazz singers performing and champagnes flowing in and dancers showing off some steps in a pool of water, 'The Great Gatsby' transports you to another world and all you can do is thank Luhrmann for such a visual treat.

While Luhrmann takes the first half to establish the characters and plot of the story, he beautifully maneuvers through the love story in the second half. If the first half was all about effects and visual treat, Luhrmann strikes a balance by showing through the soul of the film in the later half. Within the last 60 minutes, he beautifully captures the love of brooding Gatsby for Daisy.

And, it's not just the story that touches you but the splendid performance by the star cast just leaves you awestruck. If Robert Redford was the best Gatsby ever then you need to meet Luhrmann's Gatsby, Leonardo DiCaprio. As a doomed lover, DiCaprio brings out the vulnerability and a certain charisma in the same frame. His self constraint while meeting Daisy (Carey Mulligan) for the first time after five years is sheer genius. DiCaprio brings alive Jay Gatsby and his comic timing never ceases to bring a smile to your face.

On the other hand, Tobey Maguire in the shoes of Nick Carraway comes forward as a simple guy who falls for the glitz and parties only to later realise the hollowness behind all the jazz. As the narrator of the story, Tobey gives great support of Leonardo DiCaprio and the scenes involving the two actors are a marvelous treat for their fans.

However, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan is unable to bring out many shades of her character in the film but the actress is still able to do justice to the character till some extent. While Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan is excellent as the menacing husband who tries to bring down Gatsby after knowing about his wife's affair with him.

But what makes 'The Great Gatsby' all the more interesting for us is the cameo by Amitabh Bachchan. In the shoes of a gangster named Meyer Wolfsheim, Amitabh Bachchan impresses you with his accent and his acting even if he manages to be on the screen for not more than two minutes.

Overall, 'The Great Gatsby' gives you every reason to rejoice and celebrate love. Despite the story of a doomed love and a brooding lover, Baz Luhrmann brings in much more to F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic. He infuses a new life into the characters and the sets and the parties. The film will remind you of a Bollywood entertain with enough naach-gaana, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's opulent sets and a dash of Karan Johar's emotions. Do not miss this Bollywood extravaganza.

Rating: 3.5

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