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Gatsby Film Essay

1069 words - 5 pages

The film begins in the burning summer heat of 1922 New York, when newcomer Nick Carraway (Sam Waterson) moves to the wealthy area of West Egg in Long Island Sound. Immediately taken under the wing of his beautiful second cousin Daisy Buchanan (Mia Farrow) and her pretentious yet extremely wealthy husband Tom Buchanan (Bruce Dern), Nick finds himself emerged into a world full of people manipulated by money and status. Upon his first visit to the Buchanan's lavish summer home, it is evident to Nick that he is an outsider among their kind. He discovers that Daisy, who no doubt married for money, is miserable in her marriage to Tom who flaunts his affairs like a new sports car. But throughout ...view middle of the document...

The summer meets its eventful climax in the events that follow, topped by a tragic murder.

In exception to the previously mentioned character and theme development, the film adaptation of the Great Gatsby is very similar to the novel, having most of the dialogue taken directly from the words of Fitzgerald's penning. The sets where presented exactly how they were described in the novel, most impressively Gatsby's mansion with its theme rooms and party guests. Many situations were duplicated perfectly from the novel by costume, set and narrating such as the argument in hotel, how the sticky hot day crossed into the heated debated between lovers. The symbolic attributes of the novel were portrayed excellently in the movie as the eyes of Dr. T. Eckleberg watch judging all that occurs in the Valley of the Ashes, West and East Egg. While the detail were presented actually, it was the feeling of a more poetic and higher meaning that was lost in the novels adaptation.

The differences between the novel and the film adaptation may have been minor, but they changes the overall feeling the novel conveyed. I believe this feeling was lost as the book was more complex in analyzing the characters behaviour and applying it to society as a whole. Obviously, it is much more challenging to convey that emotion through a movie as you can not read what the character is thinking and it is the actor's responsibility to express these thoughts. Many scenes were added to the movie to help express the characters emotions such as Tom fencing to show his anger about Gatsby and Daisy, and when Myrtle (Tom's mistress played by Karen Black) becomes angry and smashes a window after seeing what she believes to be Tom and his wife. Characters in the film were slightly different than how they were shown thorugh the actors. Tom, for example, was a hulking, aggressive, and muscular man in a novel whiel in the movie he was thinner and seemed more loving. Scenes...

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