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Book to Film Review: The Great Gatsby

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While I usually post a book review on Wednesdays, I am making my way through 1Q84, which if you don’t know is over 1000 pages long. So, instead of a review, I have chosen to do a comparison of the recent The Great Gatsby film starring Leonardo DiCaprio to the book.

When the movie first came out I got a lot of mixed reviews. Some people said they loved and more seemed to hate it. Major critics gave it a pretty poor rating as well. I honestly don’t know why, I really liked the movie. I thought they did a great job at using actual lines from the books. I didn’t notice anything that deviated from the book so much that it made me dislike it. The one thing that drove me absolutely insane was the music. The 1920’s had such cool music and I found the use of rap and modern songs to be very disappointing.

Other than Leonardo DiCaprio, I wasn’t sure of who the actors and actresses were. I wanted to keep that a mystery and use my imagination for the book. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cast was exactly what  I had pictured. I thought Tom could be more of a brute and a bit bigger, but was still a great fit. As with all things Hollywood, there were a few instances were I believe they over sexualized things such as dances and Nick’s first encounter with Myrtle and her sister. Regardless, the movie really seemed to hold true to the story.

One thing that watching the movie made me realize about Gatsby was that he was ashamed of his poverty. He created the stories to fit in. He liked the air of mystery and allowing people to believe in all of the lies. While reading, I also missed the point of Nick’s compliment of Gatsby being worth more then them all. At the time I had not realized that Nick was speaking of Daisy and Tom. Gatsby was so hurt and humiliated by Tom discovering his past, but Nick, who also didn’t come from money, understood what it was like to be the odd ball among the rich. Seeing the movie also made Gatsby’s death more heart wrenching. Reading about the lack of people at the funeral was hard enough, but actually seeing it was even worse. His once full house was empty upon his death. They pinned everything on him, and Tom and Daisy walked away as if nothing happened. Such jerks!

Lastly, I loved that in the end Gatsby died believing it was Daisy that was calling. I was glad of that addition to the movie. I actually got a little choked up when he smiled before falling back into the pool. This story reminded me of Love in the Time of Cholera. While 5 years of loving someone is nothing compared to the lifetime of love Florentino had for Fermina, it’s just something about that unwavering love that gets me right in the feels.

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Have you watched the movie? What did you think?

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2 thoughts on “Book to Film Review: The Great Gatsby

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