Amazon Prime’s newest offering ‘ The Last Tycoon ’ almost feels like a Hollywood film. The series, all of 9 episodes, transports you back to the 1930s America – when the economy came face to face with Depression; and Hitler’s influence was growing. Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last book by the same name, the series is high on glitz, glamour, drama and betrayal. It’s more like an insight into the nitty-gritty of a Hollywood production house.
Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr is the piped piper for Brady-American Studio in the series, who solves all problems and keeps everyone happy. He makes sure the production house runs smoothly, gets its hands on the best script and makes maximum money. All this, he does, without getting much due for his dedication from his boss Pat Brady, played by Kelsey Grammer.
To add to his plight, Monroe is suffering from a congenital disease and recovering from his wife’s accidental death. Taking his advantage is Kathleen Moore (played by Dominique McElligot), who fakes up an Irish accent like Monroe’s late wife, so he takes notice.
Lily Collins, as the producer’s ambitious daughter – Celia, shines in her character. Celia is constantly put down by her father to not join the business, but she is adamant and talented. Lily is the one actor, after Matt, who will stay with you after you have gorged on the series.
What’s Wow? Matt and Kelsey, as the constantly fighting partners of the studio, are entertaining, frightening and endearing all at the same time. They fight, love, loathe each other. Apart from the strong characters in the series, what appeals the most it’s the way the old-world charm has been retained. The world created in The Last Tycoon is so believable and charming that you forget the taboos of the era – rich heiress falling in love with a poor boy; star wives trying to have a say in the husband’s life/business; woman of black descendant entering the showbiz, etc.
What’s Blah? We could definitely do with some more insights into Monroe’s life and how his wife died. It almost feels like this death might bring some trouble for him in the next season of The Last Tycoon.
Parting Shot: Delving on subjects relevant in the era like slavery, discrimination against Blacks, Nazism, sexism, the series does justice to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s posthumous work. The costumes, sets and even the dialogues have been replicated well and there are moments you feel like you are watching actual footage from that era – only that it is awesomely high definition.
Cast and Crew
Director: Billy Ray
Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr, widower and film producer
Kelsey Grammer as Pat Brady
Lily Collins as Cecelia Brady
Dominique McElligott as Kathleen Moore
Jessica De Gouw as Minna Davis
Rosemarie DeWitt as Rose Brady
You can watch this original series on Amazon Prime.
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