Mónica L.C. will be taking a closer look at adaptations and how they hold up next to the original. Are they true to the book, should they even be? Up next The Great Gatsby
Some data about the book:
The Great Gatsby is a book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1925. The story takes place in Long Island in the 1920’s and it revolves around Jay Gatsby. The book is written in third person, narrated by Nick Carraway who tells Jay’s life. Jay Gatsby is a mysterious man, nobody knows anything about his past and there are a lot of rumors about him. He lives in the past and uses his money to throw lavish parties to attract the only thing he ever wanted, a woman named Daisy Buchanan. In the book the main subjects are: money, melancholy, nostalgia, power, superficiality, love and appearance. You’ll find that Gatsby is still the ambitious and innocent child he once was.
Sypnosis (spoilers): Nick is a businessman who moves to West Egg where the millionaires live all around him. One of them is Gatsby and another is Tom Buchanan, who married Nick’s cousin Daisy. Nick and Tom met during their time at Yale, so they obviously find themselves at the same parties and hang out. Tom has a mistress name Myrtle Wilson, but is also seeing Jordan Baker, a friend of Daisy’s.
Nick and Gatsby meet at one of the infamous parties, they get to know each other and become something like friends. Gatsby requests Nick’s help in encountering Daisy so she can fall in love with him and they work out a plan. It all works and soon Gatsby and Daisy’s love resurrects. Tom realizes that his wife is having an affair and he plans a trip to uncover it. After a heavy argument between Tom and Gatsby, Daisy chooses to stay with Tom, even though she is in love with Gatsby. Another decisive fact is that Gatsby is involved with illegal alcohol deals, which doesn’t help and then the book takes a turn for the worse. On their way back Daisy runs over Myrtle, who thought Tom was driving. Tom finds out and tells Myrtle’s husband that Gatsby was the one driving. Myrtle’s husband takes revenge, shoots Gatsby and afterwards kills himself. Finally Tom and Daisy run away and move somewhere else, leaving Nick to take care of Gatsby’s funeral. No one at all attends Gatsby funeral, none of his parties assistants, just Nick and Gatsby’s father. Nick ends his relationship with Jordan and moves away from West Egg, feeling awfully disappointed.
Let’s talk about the movie:
First of all, the movie is focused on Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship, leaving out Jordan and Nick’s relationship completely. They added a scene where Nick meets Myrtle in the apartment and her sister drugs him as this part does not appear in the book. In the novel the reason that Nick is writing Gatsby’s story, is that his psychiatrist asks him to. The movie doesn’t give any explanation.
In the film they unfortunately deleted the part where Gatsby’s father shows up at the funeral, which is pretty exciting and added more details to show who Jay Gatsby really is. The dialogues are sometimes literally copied from the book.
The music for the movie is written by Jay-Z and is very anachronistic. I thought it was just perfect for the movie and Leonardo DiCaprio plays Gatsby just how I pictured him in the book. On the other hand, I didn’t imagine Tom at all like he was cast, as he was much more arrogant and indifferent.
I would rate the movie 5/5 without any doubt. It is so true to the book and there aren’t as many mistakes or made up scenes as in other movies. I believe they have done a pretty good job. Furthermore, the actors have been perfectly picked for each character!
If you want to read more by Mónica take a look at her Tumblr Books and Philosophy.