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The Great Gatsby: Existing between love and hope

Gatsby
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Set in post-World War I America, The Great Gatsby (2013), directed by Baz Luhrmann is an adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third novel published in 1925. I read the novel while I was in college, as a result, I was looking forward to watching the movie. The film, like the novel, is a great depiction of the Jazz Age.

It portrays the tragic tale of self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his pursuit of Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), a wealthy young woman he loved in his youth. Daisy got married while Gatsby was away fighting in the war. Unable to accept this fate, Gatsby still waits for her and wants to reunite with the love of his life.

The story is told through Daisy’s cousin, Nick Carraway (Toby Maguire), who is also Gatsby’s neighbour. He sets off his quest to find out the truth about the past of Gatsby and Daisy. The roaring twenties saw Gatsby throw extravagant parties in the hopes that Daisy would show up one day. Following this, the two encounter each other and a lot more happens in the film after this.

The movie is ignited by the question of love, passion, honesty, and we are left with hope by a soothing, green light. The director mostly sticks to the book’s plot and theme of impossible love. However, I felt that we don’t get attached to the characters in the film. It could be due to the films’ narrative structure.

The film like the novel largely speaks about American Dream. Gatsby represents the American dream as he was born poor and rose to achieve greater wealth and social status. It is Gatsby’s love for Daisy that led him to reach such a status. But the hope to reunite with Daisy remains as a dream for Gatsby as he still holds on to the long-gone past.

All of the actors in this film provide an extremely emotional, loud performance, which is appropriate to represent the 1920s era. The music, costume, cinematography, setting, editing add more to the visual beauty of the film. Leonardo DiCaprio is undoubtedly amazing, which comes as no surprise. Through his vocal diction, mannerisms, and interactions with other characters, he brings Gatsby to life.

The Great Gatsby will give an impression as if you are watching a live theatre performance. People who love literature or hate to read book might enjoy watching this film. I had a little more expectation from the film adaptation.

The Great Gatsby won Academy Award in the year 2014 for Best Achievement in Costume Design by Catherine Martin and Best Achievement in Production.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,”- This was, without a doubt, one of my favourite and final lines from The Great Gatsby. Between these lines is buried the real essence of the film.

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Reshma B.

Reshma Babu, a young Postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore University, utilises her considerable learned journalistic knowledge and inherent story writing and sub-editing abilities to add value to the company’s media brands and the editorial team. All dimensions of human interaction are her prime focus.

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