The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann truly captured the essence of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book published in 1925. I personally believe this movie adaptation of the book visually illustrated the key symbols presented in the novel; for example Gatsby’s mansion, his car and the Valley of the Ashes with great objects, colours and characteristics that matched what I had imagined in my mind when reading the novel.
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In my opinion the movie was 90% similar to the novel because each scene correlated to the authors chapters with the same strong details and storyline; but there were some differences that caught my eye in the movie. The first difference is the movie starts off with Nick Carraway talking to a doctor explaining his past experiences, but in the novel it was never quite clear where Nick narration of the story was taking place. The second difference was when Nick went to lunch with Gatsby. In the novel the author never mentioned a secret entrance to a bar from a barber shop; but in the movie this scene had occured. Although these were the differences that I had caught onto when watching the film; these scenes did add a creative touch to the movie and gave some diversity from the original novel.
Baz Luhrmann’s use of different film techniques allowed the viewer to grasp on small hidden meanings throughout the film that he had taken from the novel; for example the billboard and how they always had close ups of it. Luhrmann’s interpretation of The Great Gatsby mainly consisted of flashbacks of Nick Carraway from his present state of him in his doctor’s office to flashbacks of him to when he was in New York when he was friends with Gatsby. I believe the use of the flashbacks made the film more enjoyable because it added depth to Nicks emotions as the protagonist and how the other characters around him such as Tom, Daisy etc had mentally and emotionally affected him in the past and the present; allowing the viewer to gain an emotional attachment to Nick.
Baz Luhrmann’s use of lighting in the movie set the mood and foreshadowed certain events that might have been expected in the future; for example the Valley of Ashes and how it was illustrated as a dull, lacklustre town that consisted of greys and whites. One thing that I did not enjoy in the movie and that I felt took away from the 1929’s vibe was the music they chose to play at Gatsby’s parties; they were all either pop or rap from the late 2000’s which honestly did not make a lot of sense to the year the storyline took place in.
Despite the film’s minor differences and flaws; Baz Luhrmann’s directive creativity managed to develop a creative adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, encapturing the key themes, characters and symbols that the novel revealed.
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