After reading the book for my A Level English Literature class, we then watched the 2013 film version of ‘The Great Gatsby’ starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire. After watching the film, I find it strange how my opinions of the characters in the book are different to the film adaptation.
Throughout the book, my opinions changed on the characters constantly. At first I really liked Gatsby and Nick but, after finishing it, I decided I didn’t like any of the characters. I thought they were entirely materialistic, reckless and horrible people. However, when I was watching the film, the only character I seemed to like was Jay Gatsby. Opposed to the book, whilst watching the film I actually felt like Gatsby loved Daisy and she loved him. It’s quite clever how your opinions change by viewing it differently.
The thing which was very different and unique about this film is the visual side to it. Baz Luhrmann, the director, made the setting look like utopia (apart from the setting of “the valley of ashes”) – I loved the set design, I could just watch it again for that. Another part of the film which I thought was really unique was the soundtrack. Typical twenties’ music would be jazz but, Luhrmann decided to go with modern hip hop for the soundtrack. Although it sounds weird and unusual, it fitted the scenes quite well and since then, I have actually downloaded the film’s soundtrack.
The characters were portrayed in an incredible way. Obviously, the actors would have read the book before filming this so, it’s quite interesting to think about what their opinions of the characters they are playing would be.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film and for anyone who has read the book, I would definitely recommend for you to watch the film. However, if you haven’t read the book yet, I think you should read the book first then watch this – your opinions might be influenced by the film before reading the book.
Here is the trailer: