The story opens with Nick (Tobey Maquire) spending some time at a sanitarium. The doctor is trying to get him to open up concerning his summer on Long Island. After a short discussion, the Doctor suggests he write out his problems.
You see when Nick came to Long Island that summer he was an upstart of sorts. He was new to the workings of the market and he had a small cottage to live in. He was not a member of the society on the Island. Nick has a cousin who married into the stinking rich class. Her husbands name is Buchanan, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). They live in a very substantial house on the other side of the Island, the old money section. Now Nick is coming over for a bite of lunch. Daisy (Carey Mulligan), nicks cousin, is lounging with a friend Jordan as he is brought into the sun room. Daisy's husband Tom is trying to relive his glory days as an athlete. Nick is simply taken aback with the wealth. At times it looks like he is just walking around with his mouth open.
The talk around the table is about the prominence of the white race in the world. In other words the same talk the Nazi's were doing in Germany about that time. A call for Tom disrupts the lunch. It is from Tom's mistress which just makes Daisy upset. Tom says to Nick that they have to go to the club that afternoon. Which is in layman's terms means that he and Nick have to go get his mistress and spend the afternoon in New York having fun.
Now Mr. and Mrs. Wilson run a low income gas station and garage This also happens to be the home of Tom's mistress, Myrtle Wilson. Tom gives her some money to catch the train into the city. She says she will call her sister for Nick to play with. Nick is brought into the hypocrisy of the folks on the Island. You have your wife at home and your mistress in an apartment in the city.
Nick's neighbor is a well to do by the name of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). An upstart of sorts, as he has money but not old money. At Gatsby's home every weekend is a party. You don't get invited, you just show up. Well one day, Nick gets an invitation to a Gatsby party. He feels very honored as he walks through all the guests letting them know he was invited. The two meet and Nick is enamored with his neighbor. He holds on to every word Gatsby says and takes it in as if he never met anybody like him before. The two have lunch the next day and you get a glimpse into the life that Gatsby is all about. Gatsby talks about Nick's cousin Daisy and inquires to see if Nick can set up tea with Daisy.
You see Daisy and Gatsby had a thing before the War. Unfortunately, Gatsby was only a Lieutenant and didn't come from money. The awkwardness at tea shows just how silly in love the two had been all those years ago.
The story goes on to open up the door for Gatsby and Daisy to rekindle their long lost love. It also turns Nick into the person he never thought he would be. He sees the real world and he sees the make believe of the Roaring 20's. He is torn between the two.
The movie is based on the novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Director Baz Luhrmann has brought a wonderful cast together to make a rather interesting film. The movie is a good adaptation of the book.
What I didn't enjoy was the cinematography that the director tried to incorporate into the movie. As he was trying to pull off a look of early 20's camera work in the end he only made the movie darker than it should have been. The roaring 20's on Long Island was one of gay splendor. Brightness in thought and had no sign of the things to come: The stock crash of 29 and the rise of Fascism. On the whole I would say yes go and see it but keep an open mind. Enjoy.