THE GREAT GATSBY
A generic telling of the classic novel merely given a facelift
Flashy but not compelling, straightforward but a little too simple, Baz Luhrman’s artistic style is as lavish as ever – yet if feels out of sync when paired with The Great Gatsby’s uninspired narrative. But ultimately, Gatsby’s greatest downfall comes from its 142-minute running time, which diminished and downplayed a lot of scenes where tension was supposed to be running high.
What saves the film from being a total mess is its talented cast whose strongest player isn’t even the one playing Gatsby. Rather, it’s Tobey Maguire the storyteller who caught most of my attention. Despite his subdued presence in the film, I felt like his character was the one gluing them together and I also found his narration very engaging. Almost as captivating is Leonardo DiCaprio who’s dashing looks truly fit his role, though the way Gatsby was presented wasn’t something I absolutely adored. Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and Elizabeth Debicki stood their ground as well, but they weren’t as charismatic as the two male leads.
Cute, charming and fresh
Now this is truly an outlier among a plethora of bad young-adult fantasy romance titles being released lately. Beautiful Creatures is cute, charming and fresh. It’s absolutely guilt-free and I’m not embarrassed to say I liked it! Most commendable is its involvement of two very strong leads (Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert), young actors who are not your typical Hollywood top billers. Yet they command such charisma that helps make their love story believable enough to make me forget about the other generic elements the movie possesses. If studios keep surprising us with flicks such as this, then we may not need to lose hope on the genre after all.