Noah

First of all, just let me start off by saying that my main motivation behind seeing this film was to see Logan Lerman and Emma Watson on the same screen again in some sort of dire hope of reliving their fantastic performances in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Okay, now, down to business. Noah follows the often told and well known Biblical story, whereNoah-HD-Movie-2014-3
God—or in this rendition, “The Creator”—purges the Earth of the waste and toxins that mankind has created. There is a great flood, and it wipes the surface of the planet clean. The only one that has been entrusted to survive and repopulate the planet with wildlife, is a man named Noah (Russell Crowe). He is commanded to build an ark that will hold two of each beast that walks the earth. He spends years building the vessel, with the help of his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), and sons Ham (Logan Lerman) and Shem (Douglas Smith).

It was obvious that Hollywood had its hands on this well known story, because if they had adhered strictly to the original Biblical text the film would’ve been only a fraction of its
runtime. To avoid this, and to make things more engaging, a nice romantic subplot noah09between Shem and Ila (Emma Watson) was thrown into the mix. Just to make matters more interesting, Ham is also interested in Ila and was thus presented as a sexually frustrated teenager who often ran off into the forest or a corner or the ark to sulk far too often over the course of the film.

One aspect of the film that stood out the most for me, was the accent that the actors all took on for their roles. The story of Noah takes place in a time long before our own, and therefore today’s regional accents didn’t exist as we know them today. I read in an interview that in an attempt to unify the accents of the cast—which was made up of an
ensemble of actors from across the English-speaking world—they all took on a “mid-Atlantic” accent. This however, did not quite work out as well as they had probably hoped. The Brits—Emma Watson and Douglas Smith—still sounded British, Russell Crowe only sounded slightly different than his otherwise New Zealand accent allows him to sound. Logan Lerman sounded hardly any different except for a few instances where it just sounded like he was speaking in a bad British accent. The only one who I commend on their speech is Jennifer Connelly, who I felt embodied this crossroads of accents much more than her cast mates were able to muster.

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Even though Noah did not quite live up to my expectations, it still serves as a disturbingly thought provoking visualisation about what might happen if we humans continue to abuse the land that we call home. Would I recommend this film? Well, that depends on how much you like the idea of Sunday School on the big screen.

Film Challenge 2014

1. Your favourite film: Titanic (1997).

2. The last film you watched: Fred Claus (2007).

3. A film that you’ve seen countless times: Easy A (2010).

4. Your favourite drama film: Midnight in Paris (2011).

5. Your favourite comedy film: Easy A (2010).

6. Your favourite action & adventure film: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010).

7. Your favourite classic film: Rebel Without a Cause (1955).

8. A film that makes you happy: Stuck in Love (2013).

9. A film that makes you sad: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012).

10. A film that you know practically the whole script of: Titanic (1997).

11. Your favourite director: James Cameron.

12. Your favourite film from your childhood: The Road to El Dorado (2000).

13. Your favourite animated film: Finding Nemo (2003).

14. Film that left you most confused: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

15. Your favourite quotation from any film: “Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life.” – Easy A (2011)

16. The first film you saw in theatres: Antz (1998).

17. The last film you saw in theatres: Interstellar (2014).

18. The best film you saw during the last year: The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

19. A film that disappointed you the most: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013).

20. Your favourite actor(s): Logan Lerman, Andrew Garfield.

21. Your favourite actress(es): Kate Winslet, Shailene Woodley.

22. The most overrated film: Inception (2010).

23. The most underrated film: Arthur Christmas (2011).

24. Your favourite character from any film: Olive Penderghast, Easy A (2010).

25. A movie that you wish you had seen in theatres: Stuck in Love (2013).

26. A film that no one would expect you to love: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).

27. A film that is a guilty pleasure: Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008).

28. A film that you wish you could have been in: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012).

29. Film with the best soundtrack: Easy A (2010).

30. A film that changed your opinion about something: Fury (2014).

Fury

Germany. April, 1945. During the waning days of World War II, when the Allies are making their final push towards Hitler’s Berlin stronghold, an army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a tank and its five man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When a rookie soldier with no experience at the front named Norman (Logan Lerman) is thrust into their crew, Wardaddy must force him to face the harsh realities of war. Outnumbered and outgunned the tank crew face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

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I’ve never ventured far into the war movie genre, so I really had no idea what to expect. I’ve heard of people claiming Fury has established itself among the top movies of the genre, even topping films like Saving Private Ryan and Passchendaele, but due to my lack of war movie repertoire I really have no benchmark to make a similar claim.

I was severely caught off guard by what the film presented about the realities of war. There were a lot of people getting killed in a lot of unfavourable ways. Part of me wants to accept instances like those as things that really happened and think “wow I can’t believe people actually endured things like that”. The other part of me expects these instances to be Hollywoodised and that they’ve been embellished for dramatic effect. I’m caught between the two because there were instances that seemed realistic and instances that seemedfury-movie-screenshot-016-1500x1000 embellished; but what was presented on the screen definitely made you empathise with the characters that were actually experiencing it (as realistic or as unrealistic as it may have been). Something I would have liked to see, was more character development for the rest of the tank crew. The film focused a lot on the relationship between Wardaddy and Norman and I think it would have been more suiting for the audience to connect with the other men more than we were able to. If we were able to do that, their unfortunate deaths would have had much more of an impact. That said, there was a bit too much blood and gore for my liking and I felt that it crossed the “too much” line ever so slightly. If a central character has to be killed off, a simple bullet wound will do. A small rocket doesn’t necessarily have to make a gaping hole in him just to achieve a greater dramatic effect. In fact, I find that this example served quite the opposite. It seemed a little excessive, and took away from the character’s final moments that otherwise would have likely been very similar if he had been fatally shot. Even in his final moments, it was difficult to empathise with him because we never really got to know him.

Logan Lerman was absolutely brilliant. I have always held the opinion that his portrayal of Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower was his best work, but now I may have to change my stance on that matter. His performance was simply fantastic. Due to his character having to mature rapidly in a relatively short amount of time (the film takes place over the course of one day), the progression of the film boldly showcases his acting diversity. One can only imagine the thousands of young men going off to war, plucked from their mediocre day jobs and being as terrified as Norman was. Fury demonstrates that he has completed the transition from teen star to cement his place in Hollywood.

Brad Pitt;Logan Lerman

Afterwards I was not really sure what I was feeling, it was like a sort of shell shock. Maybe that’s what the filmmaker wants you to feel like when you leave the theatre. I couldn’t believe the shocking death of all but one of the tank crew had actually taken place, I wanted them to be the heroes and for everything to end okay in the end; but that’s a clear idealisation and not how war works. Norman was in a clear state of shock from the events that had just occurred, and maybe that feeling emanated into the audience as both they and Norman watch the tank the crew called home fade into the distance as the film draws to a close.

Fury is eye opening, moving and chilling, however I would have liked to see the effort that was put into the excessive blood and gore traded in for more development of the themes of male camaraderie that the film touches on but does not go very far in developing. I think Fury has inspired me to begin exploring the war film genre to see if it really does live up to the hype people are giving it. Aside from that, Fury alone is definitely worth it for some intense battle sequences and Logan’s fantastic performance.

A Trip Back in Time

Recently I was fortunate to have a rather rare film experience: watching a silent film with live music accompaniment. Back in the day when silent pictures were the norm, they would always be accompanied with live musical scores played by a pianist, or in some cases an entire orchestra. With the arrival of the talkies in the late 1920’s the era of the silent film began its decline. As motion pictures with integrated sound and pre-recorded scores became the norm, the practice of live musical accompaniment faded into history. The film I saw was called The Yellow Ticket, and the idea of live musical accompaniment intrigued me, but when I heard that my university was bringing musicians in from Toronto and New York City I knew I had to go.

It is rare for a film’s original score to have been preserved, so today’s artists will compose new scores for films that they believe holds true to what the original music would have sounded like. Klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals undertook the challenge, and composed a new score for the film for violin and piano. With herself playing the violin and jazz pianist Marilyn Lerner accompanying, the duo sounded absolutely exquisite and created an experience I will surely never forget.

The Yellow Ticket was released in 1918 and filmed in German occupied Poland during the First World War. The Yellow Ticket follows a young girl who lives in the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw with her ill father, and dreams of attending university in St. Petersburg. After the tragic death of her father, she travels to St. Petersburg where she finds out that Jewish women are only permitted entry with the assignment of a “yellow ticket”, which demotes her social status to that of a prostitute. She must conceal her true identity to fulfil her dreams of attending university by living a double life of student by day, and working at her landlady’s dance hall at night.

Many of the film’s scenes were filmed in the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw, depicting Warsaw itself as well as St. Petersburg. During WWII the ghetto saw significant brutality from the Nazis, and following the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of spring 1943 the ghetto was completely destroyed. The Yellow Ticket includes many unique documentary-like shots of the ghetto that are otherwise non-existent or did not survive the Nazi regime; making The Yellow Ticket an important part of world history and proving valuable to historians for its depictions of ghetto life.

The Yellow Ticket has seen a lot of history since its release almost one hundred years ago, but I’d confidently say this resurrection of the film with its new score may be one of its best moments yet. I’d been exposed to silent films last year when studying Film History, and actually found myself quite liking them. Having that live music accompaniment was something else, and made the experience all the more immersive and enjoyable. It was fun for an hour and a bit to see a silent film like they used to almost one hundred years ago, to take a little trip back in time.

The Fault in Our Stars

Based on the bestselling novel by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of seventeen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), who is battling cancer and can only breathe with the help of an oxygen tank that she must cart around with her everywhere she goes. One day, when attending a cancer support group, she bumps into the impossibly charming eighteen year old Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort). Augustus, now in remission, lost his leg to cancer the previous year. The two share a satirical wit, a disdain for the conventional and experience a whirlwind romance that teaches them both what it means to truly feel alive.

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Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace Lancaster, and Ansel Elgort as Augustus Waters.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have an enormous soft spot for teen romance…and this film doesn’t disappoint. Even though I found Augustus’ love at first sight esque glances across the support group circle at Hazel slightly unrealistic, it plays off of the film’s opening where Hazel is describing her opinion on a sugar coated love story. We clearly see Hazel, and an always slightly obscured Augustus having a textbook case of a romantic night out (at a fancy restaurant, dancing in the street, holding hands and so on and so forth). Except all of these images seem unrealistic, or too perfect. Throughout the film we see the oxygen tank Hazel drags beside her at all times, we see the tubes on her face that assist her in breathing, we see Augustus’ prosthetic leg, we see the fumbling and the difficulties. However, they do not make these images any less perfect. They are perfect because they are real. They are real and they are beautiful.

I first saw Shailene Woodley in last year’s The Spectacular Now, where she gave a fantastic performance. In The Fault in Our Stars, her performance was nothing short of award worthy. The sheer amount of emotion that was present in her performance was breathtaking. I can’t accurately put it into words, it really is something that needs to be0 seen and experienced rather than read. Newcomer Ansel Elgort definitely demonstrated that he has the acting chops to compliment Woodley’s. For a great duration of the film his character was particularly upbeat, showing Hazel how to embrace the time one has left and to live more in the now. However, there was a particularly heart wrenching scene where we see Augustus have a complete emotional breakdown outside a gas station. It was an incredible contrast for his character, it was raw and exposing. It definitely made an impact.

There is one aspect of the film that I initially had mixed feelings about, and that is the concept of death. Death hangs over The Fault in Our Stars like the stars themselves, touching every character and every interaction. It seems like something that is always on their horizon, and is something that they’ve all come to terms with. At first I thought it slightly morbid, yet in the midst of mortality we see a sliver of something alive. We see Hazel discover how to make the numbered days count, how to love and how to live. This theme overshadows the ominousness of death, and carries the characters, as well as the audience, on a journey of self discovery of what it really means to be alive.

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This film confronts modern issues like dealing with cancer on top of the everyday challenges all young adults face, and it does so with wit and sophistication. Powerful performances from Woodley and Elgort make it a memorable experience, and a story that is easy to lose yourself in. Warning: this film will induce laughter, tears, more laughter and then a hell of a lot more tears…and once the emotional roller coaster is over, it is difficult to find any fault in The Fault in Our Stars.

A very long hiatus and a very short explanation

I haven’t written anything here in a very long time and tonight I guess I decided it was time to change that. I tend to speak my thoughts because it helps me to make more sense of them, so I guess that’s kind of what I’m doing now. You see, this space started because of my love of film, and it served as a place to record my own thoughts on the films I watched. I really enjoyed doing that for a while, but as time went on posts were farther and farther in between. Writing began to feel more like a responsibility instead of creative enjoyment. In that time between posts things like school, and life in general, got in the way. However, this space was still at the back of my mind, but I continued to keep it pushed back there because I felt like if I didn’t have something good to write I shouldn’t write it, or that no one would want to read it. And it stayed that way for a long time. And then something changed. I just got back from seeing a film that generated a strong emotional response in me, and it was then that I remembered why I had started this space in the first place: to record my own thoughts, feelings and the connection I make with the films I watch because I love movies. It was for me to get all those thoughts out of my head instead of just forgetting about them. I don’t know who is reading this. I don’t know if anyone is reading this…because if no one is that would mean I’m just talking to myself. That’s how this space started, and I was reminded of that today. So I guess what I’m saying, is that I’m ready for take two.

The Spectacular Now

This film came out of nowhere. I had never heard anything about it until it appeared at my local cinema, but I’m really glad it appeared to me nonetheless. The Spectacular Now introduces us to Sutter Keely (Miles Teller), a senior in high school who’s about to (almost) graduate. Sutter has what he believes to be everything: a job, a car, and a beautiful girl. The life of every party, Sutter embraces the now and opts to ignore thoughts of the future. Then his girlfriend breaks up with him. This, of course, leads to a night of partying a little too hard. The next morning he wakes up on someone’s front lawn. He is found by Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley), a classmate he has never noticed until then. The two quickly fall for each other and learn to bring out the best in one another. Together they explore the ins and outs of first love, and what it means to live in the now.

I will admit that I have a serious weakness for films about budding teen romance in small town USA, but do not let the premise of the film turn you away from seeing it. Teller subtly and sophisticatedly exposes the loneliness and isolation of a stereotypical popular kid. Together, he and Shailene Woodley were an incredible duo. Their on screen chemistry was touching, and blossomed as their relationship progressed. There was something so real, so down to earth about their romance that I loved. It didn’t feel glamorised like some other on screen romances.

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There was one scene in particular that was so full of suspense and was something I did not expect to happen in a film like this. The film climaxes in a scene where Sutter and Aimeethe-spectacular-now-1 reach a disagreement about their relationship, and had the entire theatre (myself included) nearly jump out of our seats. The range of emotions the characters went through was vast: from being on cloud nine to heart breaking sadness. The moments of intensified feelings were balanced with small bouts of witty humour. With this balance, when moments of intensified emotion occurred the emotions felt by the characters on the screen were felt by the audience (or by me, at least).

The Spectacular Now tells Sutter’s story with a depth of feeling, emotional subtlety and intelligence that may alter your notions about teen romances. The mix of sly humour and an intensity of feeling achieve a perfect balance in this film. And yes, I am aware of my overuse of the positive adjective “incredible” throughout this post. But in all seriousness, you should see this film. Now.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

I really wanted to love this film. Trust me, I did. The film’s predecessor, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is one of my favourite films and Logan Lerman is without question my most favourite actor on this planet earth. Yet, I left the cinema feeling disappointed. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters picks up some time after the previous film left off. In The Lightning Thief, Percy was just discovering his powers and his potential. Now, we find our hero in a state of self doubt and struggling with the concept that he may be a “one quest wonder”. Now their home, Camp Half Blood, has come under threat. The old trio of Percy (Logan Lerman), Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) embark on another quest to save the day. New comer Tyson, Percy’s newly discovered cyclops half brother (Douglas Smith) and Clarisse (Leven Rambin), the big shot at camp, come along for the ride.

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The demigods are back for another adventure!

To summarise this film in two words: too much. My two biggest gripes are: too much energy, and too much CGI (computer generated imagery). From the moment the opening titles stop rolling, we are greeted by Percy’s voice introducing the audience to the world of Percy Jackson, demigods, and Camp Half Blood. As soon as his voice fades away, the audience is thrust into a high paced energetic scene depicting various demigods, including Percy, competing in an obstacle course esque challenge. There’s a mild interlude following this sequence, then Camp Half Blood comes under attack—and it doesn’t really slow down much from there. There are still interludes between these major action scenes, but they are far and few between and I found myself favouring the slowed down pace in those instances. The CGI was used drastically more than it was in the first film, where it was mainly used to create monsters for Percy to fight. Now at some points it creates the entire environment for the characters. This led me to feel little connection with the film because there were few “real world” elements in it—instead of fighting a monster they would be inside of one in a massively computer generated set. I just feel that it was overused to the point where it was almost a hindrance to the film because it overshadowed all the other elements. The combination of the high energy and pacing of the film and the large reliance on CGI took focus away from the important points of the plot and character development. When important points of character development arose it was hard to concentrate on them because you were so swept up visually and with the fast pace of things they seemed oddly out of place. If it was a tad simpler and more focused on telling the story rather than watching it, it would’ve been better.

The mix of our world with elements of Greek mythology is the centre focus for this film series. In the first instalment, it was a fairly even mix of the two with Percy, Annabeth and Grover travelling to a garden centre, the Parthenon replica in Nashville, and a Vegas casino. This was one of the elements of the first film that really attracted me to it. In the Sea of Monsters the balance was tilted more towards heavy influences from Greek mythology, and incorporated less real world elements into the plot. This time around, our heroes first visit Washington DC. That was a good balance between our world and Greek mythology, but after that that’s when things started to shift to be more mythology focused. Shortly afterwards, they end up in the stomach of a sea monster, then an ogre’s lair, and finally in an abandoned amusement park used as the stage for the final battle between good and evil.

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Logan Lerman reprises his role as Percy Jackson.

That said, there were parts of this film that I did like. There was humour throughout the film that I really did enjoy like the quick one liners that brought wit and comedy to the film on multiple occasions. The always hilarious Stanley Tucci makes a small appearance and brings many laughs with his wild and witty character, Mr. D. Tyson was also hilariously awkward, and provided much comedic relief to an otherwise serious mission. I also liked how the plot was constructed to let the actors grow with the characters. Instead of pretending it has only been six months since the last film (where in actuality it has been three years since the last one was released), the time gap between the films was acknowledged and the characters have grown appropriately. Alex and Brandon look relatively the same since the last film, but Logan has aged dramatically. He looks more mature and less boyish than he did in the previous instalment. This is something they seem to have worked with, and seem to have designed this film and any possible future films to follow Percy as he matures into a young adult—making it possible for the cast to age with their characters.

The actors’ performances felt hindered by the direction of this film. Don’t get me wrong, the cast was wonderful, but I felt they didn’t deliver their roles as completely as they could have. This may be due to the fact that the heavy use of CGI created a difficulty topercy-jackson-sea-of-monsters-brandon-t-jackson-logan-lerman properly act a scene. I imagine it would be incredibly difficult to act as if you’re fighting some horrible monster when in actuality you’re just in a massive green screen set. I know for a fact that Logan is capable of performing superbly, but it didn’t really shine through with the film’s direction. The direction could’ve been more dynamic, but instead chose to focus on Percy’s self doubt for most of the film’s duration. The act of Percy being the assumed leader of the group also led to other performances being hindered. All the other characters gathered around his “leadership”, when I think they could have been more self sufficient and focused on their individual strengths rather than being dependant on and solely supporting Percy.

I really wanted to love this film. Trust me, I did. That may have been why I left feeling disappointed. Having such high expectations and not having them met after putting the first film up on a pedestal, all while expecting something extremely similar for a sequel, there’s bound to be some elements of disappointment. Though, my gripes will not be the same as other people’s. Some may have thought the first film was too slow paced, or that the heavy use of CGI enhanced the fantasy and adventure of the film. Whatever it may be, Percy Jackson is definitely experiencing some growing pains. Some may think for the better, some may think for the worse. I just hope things get ironed out before the next time we meet Percy on the big screen.

The First Time

Dave (Dylan O’Brien) is an incurable romantic in love with a girl he can’t have. Aubrey (Britt Robertson) is an alluring girl from a nearby school with artistic aspirations and a boyfriend who doesn’t quite understand her. Although they go to different schools, Dave and Aubrey find themselves at the same party one night. When they both head outside to get some air, they meet. A casual conversation sparks an instant connection, and, over the course of a weekend, things turn magical, romantic, complicated, and funny as Aubrey and Dave discover what it’s like to fall in love for the first time.

Reminiscent of a John Hughes film, this story is a breath of fresh air to the crowded adolescent film market where everything seems to cover the same topics and issues. The First Time is a modern look at the angst, anticipation and hopefulness of young19RDP_FIRST_SPAN-articleLarge love. It is not solely about the first time you have sex (as some might imply from the title), it focuses on many different kinds of firsts. It’s about the first time you fall in love, the first time you begin a real relationship, and all the firsts that go along with beginning a serious relationship between two people. There’s something refreshingly different about this film, something that I really like. Something that separates it from the fluff of all the other related films. It’s something that can’t really be said through words, and it has to be watched to be understood.

Up and comer Dylan O’Brian portrays the hapless but hopeful Dave, while Britt Robertson plays the cynical and outspoken Aubrey. There was a definite chemistry between the two young actors, and onscreen they make quite a pair. There were awkward moments between them for the purpose of the film, but the best part was that you could see the connection between their characters strengthen as the film and their relationship progressed. It was especially great to see these scenes with awkward encounters between Dave and Aubry, because they were so realistic and probably relatable to many. The fact that it wasn’t a case of “love at first sight” was refreshing and only enhanced this enjoyable awkward love story.

Other adolescent films, and looking beyond the big screen into current popular culture, all glorify the loss of one’s virginity to almost unrealistic levels. When it comes time for that “first time” things don’t go exactly as expected leaving Dave and Aubry confused ??????????????????????????????about their relationship—and I really, really liked how it was presented. The First Time covers a concept that is so idealised by our current popular culture, but chooses to go the opposite direction with how to present it compared to the majority of other films. It brings all your idealistic expectations down, it gets rid of all the noise, and it makes things real. It breaks a sort of expectation that has been established by this genre of film. I think that this sense of realness is what makes this film so good, because the truth is that things are not always perfect like they’re presented in the movies.

The First Time is a hidden gem of teen romantic comedy, with a maturity and emotional intelligence not usually associated with the genre. Released in the autumn of 2012, this film is still in its infancy. However, I believe that The First Time has what it takes to become one of those films that you will want to watch time and time again.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby was not what I was expecting, but to tell the truth, I really didn’t know what I was expecting. Having not read the novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald, I was only slightly familiar with the story’s plot. The Great Gatsby follows struggling writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Nick moves in next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Across the bay lives his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and her philandering husband, Tom Buchanan. Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super-rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness to the lives of those around him, within and without the world he inhabits, he reflects on these times and pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and tragedy, and vies to answer the question: who is Jay Gatsby?

This film is a visual roller coaster, and it shines when seen in 3D. By far the most significant part of the film, and my most favourite, are Gatsby’s magnificent parties. 03-hbx-the-great-gatsby-party-scene-lgnThrown by the millionaire who is hoping that Daisy, his love from years ago, might wander in one night and the two would be reunited. This is really where the modernity of this iteration of Gatsby films surpasses those before it. The parties are beyond imagination, with classic 1920’s flappers galore, champagne everywhere you turn, water shows, and fireworks, just to name a few. The glitz, the glamour, the pomp and circumstance, and the showmanship of all these parties represents Gatsby and the values of the era in which he lives perfectly.

One of the elements of the film that I am still partial about is the soundtrack. With the likes of Jay-Z, will.i.am and Beyoncé, it was an interesting direction to take incorporating such modern music into a film set in the early 1920’s. While I thought the thumping base and electric sounds of some of the soundtrack’s songs worked wellFilm_Review_The_Great_Gatsby.JPEG-0f10a-10508 during the party scenes, it felt slightly out of place in other moments of the movie. I acknowledge that The Great Gatsby is a story ripe for experimentation, and this is a modern twist on an age old American classic, but I would’ve loved to see more traditional sounds from the 1920’s and the Jazz Age. While beautifully scored music appeared throughout some of the film, and traditional 1920’s sounds could be heard on fewer instances, I wish these sounds had made several more appearances instead of the hip-hop esque beats of the soundtrack.

tobey-maguire-as-nick-carraway-in-the-greatAs Nick Carraway says in the film, he is both present in each moment and is also looking in on it from afar. This is a similar sensation for the viewer. The viewer can see what is happening directly within the film by watching Nick’s interactions with other characters, and look in on on Gatsby’s life from a distance through the help of Nick’s narration; which is taking place at an undisclosed amount of time in the near future.

The entire film had an interesting tone that is difficult to convey using just words, and it is something that you have to judge for yourself by seeing the film. It came across as a sort of hollow emptiness, and that there was something being hidden from the viewer.broccolicity This is true, as Gatsby seeks to hide his true background from Daisy and Nick. With stunning performances from the entire cast, Leo’s performance was exceptional. Gatsby was played by DiCaprio as having an almost hesitant ambience to his character throughout the entirety of the film, as if scripting conversations in his head before vocalising them to keep his personal background concealed.

The Great Gatsby is undoubtedly a modern twist on a classic piece of literature. I believe its spectacular costumes, sets and performances from its cast can outweigh any gripes with some of its modernisms that may not appeal to some. As for myself, I’m still not sure where I stand on this film. For now, I think I’ll be going back to the books.