Junior English Day 2 Period 1
2015 April 6
Gatsby, not so Great
Many readers desire for their favorite books to become movies, although they should be careful what they wish for. The Great Gatsby (2013) is no doubt a fantastic film.
However, it does not completely capture the essence of the original novel. Director Baz
Luhrmann was not effective in recreating the feel and imagery of the iconic historical fiction written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Luhrmann has a wonderful cast to physically represent each character, though the acting that is done may not have been what many who have read the book likely imagined. The setup of the film is too extravagant, and on par with the setup is the music. Furthermore, the film is historically inaccurate.
Great Gatsby (2013)
, though a fantastic film, is dissatisfactory when compared with the novel. One attribute to the lack of effectiveness is on part of the direction of acting. For example, in the movie, Daisy Buchanan lacks a certain spark, an underlying pettiness that pushes her character forward. She is weak and emotional, where in the novel, she is always cheerful and thoughtless. Jay Gatsby may have been slightly over done, as
well as Myrtle Wilson. Gatsby is presented too too rich and high class while Myrtle does not look like she lived in poverty.
However, George Wilson, Jordan Baker, and especially Tom Buchanan are portrayed fairly accurately to the novel. Another example of poor directing is how Nick’s and Jordan’s casual romance is hardly ever shown. In fact, Jordan is barely mentioned and she showed only in parts that she is needed for the story to progress. In addition, one who has not read the book would not know that she plays golf, let alone know that she is an athlete. Characters that do not show up at all are Tom’s and Daisy’s daughter and Gatsby’s father. In the 1968 version of
, the child has some interaction with her mother, and yet there is not a single mention of her in the 2013 film.
One thing that is intelligently done is how Luhrmann frames Nick Carraway’s narration of the story. He introduces the film with a broken Nick who is working with a doctor in a mental institution. Throughout the film Nick talks about his story and Gatsby as the movie continues. Every so often the doctor intervenes, breaking the current scene, to ask a question of Nick. As the movie progresses, Nick writes down his memories and creates a book called
The Great Gatsby
, making it seem like the novel was written by Nick Carraway and not F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though brilliant, this is not how the original novel came to be, therefore not an effective interpretation.
Luhrmann’s choice of music also drags the film down from its glory. His choice of music does not fit the context of