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Released sometime last month and directed by Baz Luhrmann, The Great Gatsby is another adaption of F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. I was in two minds about this film I wanted it to be really good but at the same time I knew I would somehow be disappointed as I am a fan of the book.
As a standalone film I think a pretty decent job was done. The book is by its nature difficult to adapt into a film so some changes had to be made. Sadly I did not always agree with these changes however one which I did agree with was the way the film was narrated, I thought the little twist was clever.
The scenes which involved cars were very interesting and well done, something about the speed in which they were going at or seemed to go at kept me glued to the screen as something could go wrong and I had to see it happen and of course something did eventually go wrong.
Another great and important aspect to the film was the scenes of Gatsby’s amazing parties. They really were well done and the cinema experience was important as I felt I was almost at the parties myself.
I had few issues with the manner in which the characters were portrayed. Gatsby wasn’t so great he said ‘old sport’ in the most annoying way, he was too aggressive and just didn’t look like Gatsby.
It set it up so that Daisy and Gatsby love each other more earnestly then was portrayed in the book, Gatsby’s relationship with Daisy wasn’t believable enough and I think the director could’ve play with the idea of his love for the memory of Daisy more than he did.
Daisy in the book is a given some depth and reason is given behind her actions, however in the film she is so unrealistic and flat. They tried to explain her past and the environment in which she grew up in but this just broke up the film for me.
Nick’s role was slightly altered in the movie and he wasn’t as involved as he was in the book. His relationship with Jordan Baker was overlooked for film purposes as the focus was solely on the Daisy and Gatsby affair.
There were certain scenes which I really wanted in the film which just weren’t there. There is a possibility it would have been filmed and edited out but I really thought a funeral scene would have added to the tragedy. The way Gatsby’s parents were just dismissed in the film was not done well. Another non-existent scene that happens in the book is a scene when Daisy tells Gatsby that rich girls don’t marry poor men. This would have been an amazingly poignant scene which was sadly not there.
One point that I thought was patronising was that the theme of ‘old money’ and ‘new money’ was explicitly said which I found patronising and could’ve been edited out of the film as I don’t think it added a great deal of value
When the soundtrack was first released I was not really that impressed, however after watching the film I see how it fitted into Luhrmann’s adaption of The Great Gatsby. Though I can understand the choice of music and the need to appeal to a more varied audience with contemporary taste, it still wasn’t that memorable for me.
My overall rating of this film is a 6/10. It was a well done film that did not live up to the expectations I had hoped for. The characters and plots were lacking in some aspects but generally the story was covered and modernised for a new audience.