The latest theatrical version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic “The Great Gatsby,” which is directed by Baz Luhrmann, was outstanding!
I took my Junior English Class students on Thursday since we had read the book and watched the older movie earlier this year.
Most of the students seemed to enjoy it, and one student even told me this movie helped him understand the book even better. #winning
Without giving the movie’s secrets away, I will say it was visually stunning, which is to be expected from Luhrmann (he also directed “Moulin Rouge!” and “Romeo+Juliet“). What’s more, though, is he gave the characters depth. In the book and the original movie, the characters were fairly flat. This was intentional by Fitzgerald to make them appear shallow and a representation of the times, and the original movie, it pulled almost directly, word-for-word, from the book.
In the redux, Gatsby, Daisy, Nick and almost everyone else is three-dimensional. They become humans instead of mere caricatures. I loved it!
Some critics have commented that it isn’t completely true to the book. I agree. It took some liberties. But that’s what makes it great! Luhrmann told the story of Gatsby. He used the book as a guide, but he injected it with more life than previous incarnations. He even pulled from other works of Fitzgerald and gave Nick a back story as to why he was writing the story of Gatsby in the first place.
So those critics don’t think the movie is purely “Gatsby,” but it is totally Fitzgerald. Luhrmann did an incredible amount of research, and it paid off big time. Read this article to learn more about what I’m talking about (there is a bit of a spoiler, so be warned): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/13/baz-luhrmann-great-gatsby_n_3265327.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment#news_content
I urge you to go check it out. It is 2.5 hours long, but that time flies by. It felt like we had just sat down when the end credits began to roll. I loved this movie! I can’t wait to see it again!