Tuesday, 11 December 2018

DiCaprio’s latest offering fails to live up to expectations

Film: The Great Gatsby

Film: The Great Gatsby

Certificate: (12A)

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton

FOR the past few weeks the adorably pretty face and thin waist of Daisy Buchanan (played by Carey Mulligan), dressed in a tassled flapper dress and a feathered headband, has enticed us from every bus shelter and billboard about town.

We have all known that The Great Gatsby in glorious 3D, with its glitzy party scenes and the scion of cool himself, Leonardo DiCaprio, in the lead role was this year’s absolute must-see film and accordingly, the auditorium at the Regal Picturehouse was pretty packed for a Wednesday night.

Well what can I say? Are we suckers or are we suckers? Because this film sucks. We have all been duped by the Hollywood hype yet again. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that after shelling out more than £11 for a seat and a pair of ridiculous glasses, we was robbed.

The film starts off with promise. Within the first five minutes we are hurled into a torrid party scene at Gatsby’s Long Island mansion which would make the eyes pop on the wildest of cocaine addicts.

Dancing girls in sequinned bikini tops gyrate beside exploding fountains. There are streamers and fireworks and globules of shiny snowflakes cascading on to the heads of sharp-suited lotharios and glamour girls in Charleston shoes, all set to the manic music of Kanye West.

Then we cut to get our first glimpse of the perma-tanned, grinning Gatsby as seen through the eyes of our narrator Nick Carraway (Toby McGuire). Then it’s back to more party scenes, until in the end, rather aptly, you start to feel like you do at most New Year’s Eve parties — it all starts off with great promise, but you end up wondering what the hell you are doing there. This film is an adaptation of the seminal novel about the shallowness of the great American dream. Gatsby has all the trappings of wealth and success but, surrounded by showy, immoral people he is lonely and loveless. The fact that he tries to buy Daisy’s admiration and love with his wealth is ironic in itself.

DiCaprio is disappointing in this role — there is no chemistry between him and Mulligan and every time he utters his catchphrase “old sport” it makes you cringe. There is a plot, but it grinds along like a rusty old locomotive rather than a bright yellow sports car.

It all goes to show that no matter how much money and glamour you throw at a film, it won’t work unless your source material — the script and plot — are sharp and believable and tell you something you didn’t already know. Sadly, this is not the case with The Great Gatsby.

Save yourself £11 and buy yourself a good hearty pie and a pint instead — you will come away feeling more fulfilled.

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