26 May 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: The Great Gatsby

„The Great Gatsby“ is like this person you meet and you want to be friends with the person so badly cause she’s so good looking but it seems like there will be nothing more than small talk between you. Seeing this person from afar made you have big expectations, but you have to admit being handsome or beautiful is just not it.

The cinematography of this film is absolutely breathtaking. The sets are stunning, not only because the 20ies have been very well transferred to the big screen but also because everything takes place entirely in NEW YORK City of course. That makes looking at it a treat. Reading the cast, I was also convinced that I would not be disappointed here, which I certainly wasn’t – apart from the point that I really think Leonardo DiCaprio starts looking old and used (!). How sad!

For me, the highlight of the film was the music. Featuring artists such as the wonderful Lana del Rey, Kanye West, will.i.am, Emeli Sandé, Sia and even Nero, I really loved how the modern sound was combined with the old-fashioned, picturesque scenery. [Chanting “Young And Beautiful” until this day!]

However: In all the flashy lights, stunning gowns and mind-blowing sets, the movie failed to move me on a higher level. I was fine with everything that happened. I didn’t feel an overload of sympathy for anyone in particular, neither could I identify with any of them. That doesn’t mean there were no scenes that I thought were great, but it means content-wise I was never convinced. That with an excessive over-length made me question why Moulin Rouge director NEVER learns form the mistakes of his previous movie! Bummer! 3 stars for everything glittery, shiny and gorgeous to look at! 

11 May 2013

BOOK REVIEW: "The Prisoner of Heaven" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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I’ve heard a lot of praise for the works of Carlos Ruiz Zafón from friends who have read his books. “The Prisoner of Heaven” was picked up by chance at an airport, mostly because I was intrigued by the description on the back.

“The secret World of the Cemetery of Forgotten books, hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona... a novel full of creaking trapdoors, a novel where even the subplots have subplots.”

This pretty much sums up what this story is about. But first of all I have to honour the author’s style which is impeccable, captivating & simply a delight to follow through all the pages. In times where all those “Twilights” & “Shades of Grey” dominate the bestseller list, this book is like a breath of refreshing spring air.

With about 280 pages it’s a quick read but the author still manages to envelop you in the magical atmosphere of the story. Set in Barcelona, you almost feel yourself sitting on a park bench of that exact city and reading the book there. In a short description - the book is intriguing, with quite a few twists & turns and extremely atmospherical.
By the time you reach the ending, you have probably managed to build a close connection with the main characters, so that the final outcomes are heart touching.
My judgement consists of 4 out of 5 stars, so just a minor reduction for some parts which weren’t as exciting as the rest and most of all because I’m not such a fan of open endings :)


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