Nick Carraway, a young Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbour, the nouveau riche Jay Gatsby. He is ... See full summary »
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Nick Carraway, a young Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifetyle of his landlord, the nouveau riche Jay Gatsby. He is drawn into Gatsby's circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy.Written by
Not a Bad Film. Especially if you haven't read the novel!
It has been a while since I read the novel, so I was able to detach myself from the source material enough to watch the film from that vantage point. And I have to say, I believe this greatly aided in my enjoyment of the picture. I'm not saying it is a perfect film by far, but as a stand alone film, it is better than the average B melodrama of the period.
However, once I finished the film I began to make comparisons to the novel, which is definitely in my personal all-time top 10 books, and that's where the film went from an 8 to a 7 or 6. Like many of the previous posters mentioned, the film does drastically diminish Gatsby's mystery by laying out his background early on in the story. And this does detract from what most people love about the book. Also, the script does not take enough advantage of it's source material and the wonderful prose of Fitzgerald.
I personally did not find the film extremely miscast and the leads were not a problem for me. Granted they are not what I envisioned Gatsby and Daisy being like when I read Fitzgerald's work, but in my opinion they are able to make the roles work. I thought the secondary leads and the character parts were for the most part well cast and that the actors each made the roles their own.
The problem with the film is that it IS based on the novel. And contrary as to how I was able to watch the film, one should be able to critique this film based on the vantage of comparing it to the novel. If this weren't the case, then the film should never have been titled "The Great Gatsby". So, if one is able to watch the film without constant comparisons to the novel, I think they will better enjoy the viewing experience, but that doesn't excuse the film's shortcomings when it comes to living up to its source material.
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