Gatsby Film Glitz Worthy of Novel

Kevin Fong, Editor-in-Chief

The Great Gatsby. An American classic.

A requirement for all juniors to read, it was one of the best, yet slightly confusing, novels of that year. After a late night of furiously revising my essay and turning it in later that morning, we watched the 1974 film adaptation starring Robert Redford. Although it was full of forced smiles and “old sport’s,” I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t the worst either (it’s on Netflix instant play now); it left me sitting on a dock grasping at a green light across the bay.

Suffice to say, I was excited when I heard that it was being remade. Just watching the trailer I could tell it was going to be good; although I was slightly nervous about the way they were going to tell the story. The unique way the novel is relayed by Nick Carraway adds so much to the foundation of the book.

Once the movie started my concerns vanished. The story telling is fantastic. The movie does an excellent job of staying true to the novel while still having its own style. Every notable symbol, theme, and setting is there, tantalizing with beautiful representations of the world Fitzgerald described.

Every scene is beautiful. The colors are powerful and somehow manage to be in your face without ever being rude about it. And the parties. Oh, the parties. Feasts for the eyes. The dazzling array people getting “roaring drunk” in their celebrations include a spectacle of glitz, glam, confetti, and a surprising amount of colored feathers.

However, the film does not let your ears go unattended. The sound track is like thai iced tea for your ear drums. A mix of both contemporary and 1920’s music, the director (Baz Luhrmann) finds the exact times to play each to exude emotion from the audience. The beats inspire the idea of hosting a 1920’s themed bash late at night with everyone invited.

The Great Gatsby continues on its streak with its acting. All of the characters are undeniably believable and true to themselves. They pull the audience into their Prohibition era world and shock and awe with their actions. Each character is cast perfectly. Tobey Maguire captures the “wide eyed” Nick Carraway, while Leonardo DiCaprio is as smooth as can be as Gatsby. He always did look so cool in those shirts. “Old sport” rolls off his tongue with ease while his mannerisms bring what I had always thought Gatsby would look like to life.

The movie is accessible to anyone, whether they have read the book or not; however, I think that having read the novel and being coerced into analyzing it added something extra to the film experience.