Monday, February 17, 2014

Book-to-Movie: The Great Gatsby (2013)


Baz Luhrmann   
Writers: Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce   
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton

This was a very interesting adaptation of the classic book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. I've seen the older film over ten years ago and I've read the book twice, once in high school and last year before the 2013 film came out. I have to say that I enjoyed this adaptation tremendously.

The imagery of this film was what I loved best about it. Baz Luhrmann creates movies with a hint of weirdness that catches an audience's attention. I've enjoyed his previous films before because of this strangeness that he adds to them and The Great Gatsby was not an exception. Everything was over-the-top: grand parties, shocking behavior, decorative costuming, and exaggerated acting. My eyes wanted to capture everything that was presented to me and I did not want to move in fear that I would miss something.

The movie did a great job staying true to the book. Of course it added things that were not in the original work to make the movie longer, but this only help enhance the viewer's comprehension of the plot. Though I read the book twice, I was not a big fan of it since I didn't really connect with the characters. In the movie though, I actually felt some pity for Mr. Gatsby. I'm not sure if it was because Leonardo DiCaprio did an excellent job, but I just felt sorry for him when Daisy did not return the feelings for him at the end. It was also very sad to see how people didn't care much for Mr. Gatsby other than his parties. I came to understand the characters more watching this film than I did when reading the book.

This was one of the few very rare instances where I found myself liking the film more than the book. Yes, the book was written well and it's a classic but like I mentioned before, I felt no connection with it. With the film I was able to feel more for the characters, plus the imagery was plain awesome. 

I rate this adaptation: 4 stars


  1. Wonderful post. I had done a very similar review for another one of my projects and really loved the movie because it was pretty and over the top. I like the book for its depth...

  2. I still haven't seen this yet, but I'm sure I will enjoy it, I liked the book and I like Baz' style. I love the costume/set design, Catherine Martin is amazing! I was lucky enough to see a couple of the costumes from the movie at an exhibition, they were beautiful. The movie is showing at our big screen festival next month so I won't have to wait too long to see it.

    1. Ooh you're so lucky!!! I would've love to have seen the costumes in person!

    2. They were beautiful, very intricate beading, it was a history of costume in film, so there were some great ones.