Well we are at the end of summer and this means many things..School, football, and the start of the summer theater films hitting home video (and milking a little more cash from our pockets). One of the first notable summer releases out on video is "The Great Gatsby." This is the seventh major movie adaptation of the 1925 novel..but it was not a lucky number in this case.
This time around Leonardo DiCaprio and company take a shot at telling Jay Gatsby's story. On the surface, this adaptation had plenty of reasons for optimism. A relatively well know cast working with a $105,000,000 budget should have made for decent entertainment. Combine this with the exotic reproduction costumes and scenery, and Gatsby should have been an Academy Awards shoe in.
Unfortunately, life is not so predictable and this remake surprisingly fell flat on its face. It's not easy to pick specifically where it went wrong but here are a few ideas. The movie was over 30 minutes in before DiCaprio/Gatsby makes an appearance (kind of expect a bigger impact from the namesake character). By contrast, the supporting character Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) is in more scenes and the story is told from his perspective. The premise of casting an A lister like DiCaprio is defeated by watering down his role. The worst part of the film was that it featured mostly modern hip hop songs as the musical score. This totally killed the mood for a drama set in the roaring 20's (50+ years before rap was even invented!).
I wish I could find some redeeming qualities for this film but they were few and far between. DiCaprio, Maguire, and Isla Fisher turn in decent performances...but still worse then most of their prior work. The movie did over $331,000,000 in worldwide box office...decent but well below expectations..and the generally bad consumer reviews mean many people felt they got ripped off. Even the few bright spots of this movie had dark under clouds!
The final word on this one is save...as in save your money and time while looking elsewhere for your home viewing fix! Great Gatsby 2013 already made way too much money for the little it gave at the box office. No need to repeat the mistakes that many made over the summer at the theaters. I give it 3/10 and I think even that rating is another undeserved charity!