The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

(directed by Baz Luhrmann, 2013)

Baz Luhrmann has made a speciality of doomed love affairs in frenzied, hedonistic settings: the swaggering drug-hazed playground of Verona Beach in his Romeo and Juliet, and the absinthe-tinted alleyways of Montmartre in Moulin Rouge. His take on the American Jazz Age in The Great Gatsby should have been sparkling. And there are moments of visual splendour, but it feels slightly strained, as if Luhrmann is trying very hard (against his instincts) to rein in his usual manic directorial style. It’s as if he set out to make, comparatively speaking, a more understated film. And the problem is that understatement isn’t really his forte. 

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