The Great Gatsby is an interesting story and a classic in America literature. It would have been unfair if no one had thought of producing a movie based on that story. Therefore, various movie producers have reproduced the Great Gatsby in movie form, adding a little twist to attract the audience because of the movie variety in the market. A movie version produced by Baz Luhrmann in 2013 is an interesting watch, especially because it incorporates a legendary actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, as Gatsby. The producer has done a good job in reproducing the book; however, I think F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is superior to Baz Luhrmann’s movie because one has high expectations of the movie, especially when DiCaprio is presented as the lead character but does not potray Gatsby as Fitzgerald does in the book also, the movie lacks the details presented in the book to create a mental image of the characters according to one’s imagination.
DiCaprio is associated with significant lead roles in different movies, thus not portraying Gatsby as portrayed in the book. One can trace the achievement of Jay Gatsby and understand his struggle for a wealthy status. Therefore, I believe if Luhrmann had used a less prominent actor for Gatsby would have effectively portrayed the message intended by Fitzgerald. For example, when Gatsby is upstairs, and people are celebrating downstairs, he does not seem lonely, especially with the cigar in his hand. Also, DiCaprio has a certain style Gatsby lacks in the novel. However, Luhrmann reproduces the novel effectively, especially the parties, the yellow car, and the general character of Gatsby. DiCaprio creates a picture of success, especially for someone who has not read the book before watching.
The novel is superior to the movie because it lacks the details and the freedoms the reader has in creating a mental image of what is happening in the story. When reading the story, the kind of parties described does not match the ones presented in the book. For example, acrobatics and others are doing different entertainment aspects. This is not described in the book, making the movie more modern than the book. This indicates that Luhrmann somehow forgets the story’s setting and transforms it into a modern-day party. Though he does a great job of portraying the individual social class, the movie exaggerates the lavishness and the number of people attending. Also, I believe movies originating from a novel usually dilute the novel’s content or add some things that seem off the story’s message. For example, fireworks in the movie effectively create glamour and a party mood. Fitzgerald achieves the same without the exaggerated fireworks through descriptive writing lacking in the movie.
Conclusively, reading the novel before watching the movie has influenced my perception and criticism of the movie, which is why I believe Fitzgerald’s novel is superior to the movie. This is because using DiCaprio already creates a certain trait of the actor that Gatsby does not have, especially DiCaprio’s style. Also, it is impossible not to see the actor in the other roles he has played before. Secondly, the movie uses pictures to cover the details in the book, which is effective but reduces the viewer’s freedom of having their mental imagination like the reader.
Fitzgerald F.S, (199). The Great Gatsby.
Gatsby (2013), directed by Baz Luhrmann, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby.