The Truly Great Great Gatsby | Teen Ink

The Truly Great Great Gatsby

May 26, 2013
By AngelaMB PLATINUM, New York, New York
AngelaMB PLATINUM, New York, New York
27 articles 14 photos 4 comments

One of the most anticipated films of the year, The Great Gatsby hit the big screens with a glittering boom. For weeks, store checkout lines have caused people to forget the current decade with magazine covers featuring the roaring twenties. A great piece of literature to most and a nearly sacred text for others, the director, Baz Luhrmann had high stakes in his decision to produce The Great Gatsby. Although The Great Gatsby has been portrayed in five mediocre movies in the past, he saw this not as a threat, feeling that the other movies’ lack of success was actually a blessing.

Gatsby takes consistency to the book to a near fault offering a definite alternative to Sparknotes for any high school student who does not want to tackle the language and genius of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Any inconsistencies are so minor that any literary student could have missed them in the book; the symbols are more in your face and the plot more straightforward.

Leonardo DiCaprio captures the spirit of Gatsby perfectly, creating a believable character that the audience loves and pities. He captures both the hope and valor of the literary hero. After having seen him in the part it is hard to imagine anyone else portraying Gatsby. Daisy, played by Carey Mulligan, was charming and endearing. Tom Buchanan played by Joel Edgerton is as despicable as in the novel.

Perhaps the most magnificent part of the movie lies in the setting. The colorful images capture the spirit of the Jazz age. Both Gatsby and Daisy’s mansions are gorgeous. The party is more magnificent than a reader could picture in his mind, combining the rebellion of prohibition with the flamboyancy of the age.

The music however is not accurate to either the book or the era. Artists including Beyoncé perform modern songs in genres that didn’t exist in the era. Luhrmann mixes these modern hip hop songs with some of the jazz of the age, similar to what he did in other of his movies including Moulin Rouge. Although this sometimes makes it hard to dive into the culture of the twenties the director craftily makes it work. In the same way people in the twenties were enthusiastic about jazz, people today are able to be enthusiastic about the music used in the movie. It is further justified by the fact that Fitzgerald was a modernist, so it seems fitting to play modern music in the movie.

Also along the same lines with modernism was the director’s decision to film the movie in 3D. Though that is up to each person’s opinion whether or not they enjoy the image of 3D, it does add to the impressiveness in the scenery. Some scenes are obviously made especially for the 3D including birds’ eye views above the city and magnificent dancing.

The Great Gatsby takes the audience on a roller coaster of emotions from hilarious to touching to tragic, keeping everyone interested until the bitter end. The Great Gatsby really is great.

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