Friday, May 10, 2013

'The Great Gatsby' - C+ (Voice Over D-)

Let me first state, I love Baz Luhrmann.  I love his visuals, I love the music choices, I love his casting.  I love his amazing wife Catherine Martin, for whom nothing that is his could exist.  A perfect yin to his yang.

Let me also state, useless voice over, as a plot device, needs to be stopped.  It is the item MOST used to move a bad script along.  Writers, your audience isn't stupid.  They can figure out that a character is driving a car or walking down the street WITHOUT being told it's happening.

Now you see my dilemma when watching 'The Great Gatsby.'  It is visually the perfect foible to the loud, crass crap that litters the Summer viewing season.  However, it is been soiled with one of the WORST voice overs ever!  Leonardo Dicaprio is sublime.  However, DiCaprio seems almost superfluous in some scenes, as the miscast Tobey Maguire’s voice-over narrates Gatsby's actions faster than he can complete them.  By the end of the film, I was rolling my eyes and hoping for another one of the fantastic songs to drown out my urge to climb through the screen and throttle Mr. Maguire.

The supporting cast was perfect, Isla Fisher particularly.  The heavily CGI film was beautiful, but I can not forgive that they gave the tone of the film over to a butcher, yes, Mr. Maguire, I mean you.

Pros - 
- Soundtrack, with major credit to Jay-Z, as Luhrmann films always do, delivers.
- Visual stunning
- The dynamic between Leonardo Dicaprio and Joel Edgerton ('Zero Dark Thirty'/Star Wars I and II) almost saved the film for me.

Cons -
- Tobey Maguire - PLEASE SHUT UP!!!!!  You are a poor representation of almost the same character played by Ewan McGregor in 'Moulin Rouge.'  Very, very poor casting.  
- Not every metaphor needs to be visually displayed.  Again, the audience is not stupid.
- Carey Mulligan, one of my favourite Doctor Who heroines, has reduced to simpering and whining and by the end, I could care less.  Watch her in 'An Education' or the amazing 'Drive,' but don't expect a lot here.  She is mostly wasted.

Pagan Content - None

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