Friday Flicks: The Great Gatsby

This week, I'm testing a new feature for A Book A Week. Hollywood often adapts bestselling novels into feature films. In this feature, I'll post reviews of some of these book to film adaptations. This weeks Friday Flick is the latest adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic, The Great Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby is a novel that has famously failed to cross into other mediums. With this latest adaptation, by director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!), I was curious to see how Luhrmann's unique style would translate to this classic story. I entered the theater with a fair amount of trepidation, especially after the largely mixed reviews that I'd read. To my surprise, however, I really enjoyed this adaptation.

There were a couple of major alterations to the novel's original story, namely Nick's background and the events that take place after his time with Gatsby, but the film was mostly faithful to the novel. Many of the reviews argued against the director's style over substance approach, but I completely disagree with these claims. While there are moments of dazzling camera acrobatics and 3D effects, there are also many moments of quiet introspection. DiCaprio's Gatsby is probably the most sincere portrayal of this character that will ever appear on film. His interactions with both Maguire's Nick and Mulligan's Daisy seemed genuine, and I could really feel the soul of the man behind the facade he had made for himself.

This unique interpretation will, no doubt, garner a variety of reactions amongst the faithful readers and casual moviegoers. In the end, it is probably impossible to perfectly translate the intentions of the novel into a film, but this one comes pretty close.

Have you read the novel or seen the film? If so, what did you think of it?

As always, your input helps determine the content of this blog. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this new feature. Is it something you would like to see more of? If so, Which adaptations would you like to see reviewed?

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2 Responses to “Friday Flicks: The Great Gatsby”

  1. This is really interesting, it seems like most professional critics have hated the film, while most of my friends have said they loved it. I finished the book earlier this week and I thought it was okay, the writing was amazing but I wasn't really wild about the plot so I was a bit reluctant to go and see the film, I might give it a try after your comments though I guess :)

    Please follow me back :)

    1. If you've read the book, then I think you will enjoy the movie. While the characters in the novel aren't really "likable", the actors in the film do a nice job of making them a bit more sympathetic.


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