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Author Topic: The Great Gatsby (2013 movie)  (Read 3165 times)

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April 22, 2013, 11:05:39 AM

Hermione P

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The first time I came across The Great Gatsby, it was the beginning of Chapter 3, describing one of Gatsby's Saturday night parties, as an unseen prose passage in an English Lit exercise in secondary school. In high school I borrowed the book from the school library.

When I heard there's going to be a new movie, I began to anticipate seeing the scenery and the Jazz Age clothes on the silver screen, so I went to download the ebook to read again for a refresher, and even went to look up Lit notes online about the novel.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7AFnJbETLw

I like the part where Nick and Gatsby read the words on his war medal aloud in unison - in the book it's just Nick reading it himself. Daisy asking "What Gatsby?" is not the "demand" as stated in the book though. :(

I read this trailer review from the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/great-gatsby-trailer-review_n_1541043.html) and one of their editors suggested that Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender as better casting choices for Gatsby based on their performances in A History of Violence and Prometheus respectively. I won't mind watching Leo as Gatsby, but this review makes me want to Viggo as Gatsby :D (if the makeup team can make him look 32 - Gatsby's age as stated in the novel). The editors also suggested alternative casting choices for Daisy and Nick.

As for the soundtrack, I have heard Florence and the Machine's Over The Love, Fergie's A Little Party Never Killed Noboby, and Lana Del Rey's Young and Beautiful. I am looking forward to hearing the jazz version of Crazy in Love in full!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 11:16:29 AM by Hermione P »


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May 01, 2013, 08:00:20 AM
Reply #1

Kickassnoodle

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It's been a couple of years since I read the book, but I can't see either Mortensen or Fassbender as Gatsby, at least not the way I imagine him; they are, um, too chiselled, if that makes sense ;D I think, DiCaprio looks pretty good as Gatsby. And Carey Mulligan is always perfect ::)

I haven't listened to any songs yet either, but I have to, because I like Florence and the Machine a lot. I think, it's an interesting choice - their usual sound is just, well, so modern. But, I just watched the trailer and the modern music really works.

I had actually forgotten that it's Baz Luhrman making this film, the trailer reminded me. I'm really excited now because Baz Luhrman! I've seen all of his current feature length films (well, there are only 4), and I love them all. I wonder if, much like the Red Curtain Trilogy (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!), Great Gatsby is going to have stylistic similarities and parallels with Australia  :crabbegoyle:

I don't expect this to be a very faithful or word-for-word adaptation of the book. I mean, it never is, really. And this is Baz Luhrman - look what he did with Romeo and Juliet, granted that was a modernisation of the play (and he did use the actual text of the play), and this is going to be set in the correct time period, but still. But from the trailer this looks very very good.
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May 01, 2013, 10:17:29 AM
Reply #2

Hermione P

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Carey Mulligan is always perfect
...
I don't expect this to be a very faithful or word-for-word adaptation of the book. I mean, it never is, really.

Carey sure looks good! :D

From the trailers I can already give a few examples of changes from the book. Spoiler tags for the benefit of those who haven't read it.

  • Gatsby losing his cool and grabbing Tom when the latter asks him point-blank if he is a
    Spoiler
    bootlegger. In the book this doesn't happen.
    I can't make up my mind yet as if this is a good change.
  • Daisy breaking the pearl necklace
    Spoiler
    Tom gave her for their upcoming wedding after reading a letter from Gatsby and getting drunk. In the book she just throws it into the waste-paper basket and shows it to Jordan, her bridesmaid, and she puts it on for her again later. Exaggerated compared to the book, but makes sense in this context. So I wonder how they will resolve this in the movie.
  • This is a minor quibble on my part: In the book, Daisy "demanded", "What Gatsby?" But in the trailer Carey doesn't seem to be reading that line in a particularly demanding way. Still not as bad as movie Dumbledore yelling at Harry about putting his name into the Goblet of Fire vs. book Dumbledore calmly asking Harry about the matter.
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May 01, 2013, 11:11:10 PM
Reply #3

merrythought

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Hermione P, I know what you mean about the scene in the hotel with Tom and Gatsby.  In the book,
Spoiler
there's no need for physical violence because Tom has effectively lowered Gatsby in Daisy's eyes.  And aren't they all too hot to get that worked up, anyway?   ;)

I like the idea of DiCaprio as Gatsby.  In the novel, one of Nick's earliest impressions of Gatsby is as a "roughneck" whose suave manner is put on.  DiCaprio's face and manner are far less refined than Robert Redford's (the first film Gatsby); so he actually comes closer to my understanding of Gatsby as someone who is trying to achieve refinement, but doesn't quite succeed; he's always a little awkward, and I think DiCaprio does awkward well.

I don't  love the music.   Not just because I'm a bit old for it, although I'm sure that plays a part.  But here's the thing:  Gatsby is so frozen in time; it's the quintessential American novel about the 1920s.  So, I have a hard time imagining anything but period music.  With Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet, I found the music totally worked because the story had been moved into a contemporary setting. 

I am very much looking forward to the movie.  There was a terrible version done in the '90s, which I watched once and have since avoided.  And the 1970s movie does feel dated and slow today.  It's such a fantastic story that I'm really hopeful for a new and satisfying interpretation!

It's true, a film can't (and probably shouldn't) do a word-for-word adaptation of a novel.  But, I thought I'd mention that a couple of years ago I had the pleasure of seeing a word-for-word play of The Great Gatsby.  It is called Gatz, and it is made up of literally every word of the play, from the first to the last.  The "Nick" character sits at his office desk reading the novel aloud because his computer crashes.  The office workers around him gradually morph into the book's characters.  I had to see the play in two sittings, as obviously it was very long, I think over four hours in total.  It's hard for me to describe how marvelous it was; you'd think a person would fall asleep, but no.  It was magical.
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May 05, 2013, 08:19:28 AM
Reply #4

Kickassnoodle

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I don't  love the music.   Not just because I'm a bit old for it, although I'm sure that plays a part.  But here's the thing:  Gatsby is so frozen in time; it's the quintessential American novel about the 1920s.  So, I have a hard time imagining anything but period music.  With Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet, I found the music totally worked because the story had been moved into a contemporary setting.
What did you think of Moulin Rouge! soundtrack? Because that was a period film (granted, sort of, um, steampunk-y) and they used contemporary music, and I loved it and I love Gatsby soundtrack from what little I've heard of it. The more I think about it, the more I like the soundtrack choices they made for Gatsby, especially Florence and the Machine - I've been listening to them a lot and there's just something in their sound and in their lyrics that capture the feel of the book, at least to me. In any case, I hope that despite the music, you'll still be able to enjoy the film :)
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May 05, 2013, 03:17:33 PM
Reply #5

Hermione P

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The jazz cover of Crazy in Love is out! I actually like it better than the modern original!
https://soundcloud.com/igamusic/emeli-sand-the-bryan-ferry
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May 14, 2013, 02:12:43 PM
Reply #6

Hermione P

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First movie review, from a blog I follow: http://www.ilikewantneed.com/2013/05/the-great-gatsby-2/?fb_source=pubv1

The Singapore release will be on 16 May. I am likely to watch the 3D version only in June when my friend is free.
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May 14, 2013, 08:54:06 PM
Reply #7

varza

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Spoiler
I really enjoyed it and probably one of the best adaptations of a novel to screen I have ever seen. I can't think of anything they left out that was essential to the story.

I went on opening day - the balcony was full of 30-50yo women! lol!
I am everywhere....
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May 25, 2013, 12:51:25 PM
Reply #8

merrythought

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What did you think of Moulin Rouge! soundtrack? Because that was a period film (granted, sort of, um, steampunk-y) and they used contemporary music, and I loved it and I love Gatsby soundtrack from what little I've heard of it. The more I think about it, the more I like the soundtrack choices they made for Gatsby, especially Florence and the Machine - I've been listening to them a lot and there's just something in their sound and in their lyrics that capture the feel of the book, at least to me. In any case, I hope that despite the music, you'll still be able to enjoy the film :)
Kickassnoodle, I remember when Moulin Rouge came out in the cinema, but  cannot remember whether I saw it or not! But last night I did go to see The Great Gatsby, and while I didn't care for the musical anachronisms, I liked other aspects of the film, particularly the performances of DiCaprio and Mulligan.  And the film did an excellent job of capturing the larger-than-life nature of Jay Gatsby and his milieu.  It was worth seeing.  My reservations about the film are below:

I think the 1970s film did a better job with characterization of Tom, Myrtle, and Wilson, and I didn't find Toby Maguire's performance convincing.  I also found the sanatorium frame plot a distraction.  But my biggest criticism is that the movie is the nature of Gatsby and Daisy's relationship to one another - they are much more in love in the movie than in the novel, where each one picks up their old affair out of self-interest: Gatsby loves Daisy for what she represents:  a social class he aspires to, but can never fully join.  Daisy's motives for getting involved with Gatsby are not as clear, but she is at least in part getting revenge on Tom for his philandering, and her betrayal of Gatsby is far colder in the book than in Luhrmann's film, where I'm not even sure there is a betrayal.  When Nick finally gets around to calling Tom and Daisy "careless," I feel it's a surprise judgement on Luhrmann's Daisy, who was made into quite a sympathetic character.  I feel sympathy for the novel's Daisy for how she was compelled to give up Jay Gatsby as a girl and marry Tom, and for her having to put up with Tom's infidelity, but the married Daisy is an adept manipulator, a key element of the story.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 01:13:35 AM by merrythought »
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June 10, 2013, 03:27:58 PM
Reply #9

siena

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I think the judgement careless for Daisy in the film is justified - after all, she killed a woman (accidently but nevertheless) and didn't look back - and let Gatsby take the blame ...

I have to admit I haven't read the novel  :ashamed: so maybe I can't really judge; but I have to say the film worked well (and I am not a Baz Luhrman fan). I left the theatre thoroughly moved and not just a bit depressed by the sad story.
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June 12, 2013, 08:41:24 PM
Reply #10

Kickassnoodle

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A quick modly note:
As per Rules of this forum, spoiler bars are not necessary when discussing material that has already been released. Everyone should know that they're entering at their own risk and avoid discussions if they haven't seen the material yet and wish to remain unspoiled :trelawney:

------
I just saw this film today. The theatre was running a special so there were a lot of people and my friends and I had to watch Gatsby with our heads turned up at Gatsby from second row, but I digress. In general, I liked the film a lot. It's been a while since I rewatched any of the other Luhrmann's films and I had forgotten how much I love his trademark artistic style (sadly, we couldn't see it in 3D). I loved the colours, the clothes, the sets. Daisy almost always wearing glittering, light-coloured dresses, I especially loved how Gatsby surrounded her in all those white flowers for their first meeting. I also quite happily noted that Luhrmann put in a few obvious red touches (I especially liked the red plane) - a sort of call-back to his Red Curtain Trilogy. It seemed to me that this film has some distinctly blue overtones, I hope that's Luhrman's new colour - I love blue :fredgeorge: I loved the music too - it helped create the perfect frantic borderline desperate atmosphere, a general desire to fill their lives with something.

I agree with merrythought about Daisy and Gatsby's characters - they were made to be rather more like tragic romantic heroes when I certainly didn't read them like that in the book. That being said, the first introduction of Daisy - with all those white curtains flowing around, laughing and putting out a jewelled hand first - was spot on, if only they kept some of that further on. In the book both Daisy and Gatsby might have loved each other those 5 years ago when they first met, but at the time of the main events they didn't seem all that in love with each other.

As for Nick - I don't think this was a strong performance by Tobey McGuire, or maybe it's just the way Nick's character was created in this film - like a wide-eyed innocent puppy. And is it just me (and my friend who actually pointed it out first), or does he seem to be rather infatuated/smitten with Gatsby (it's not consistent but it did jump out at me on quite a few occasions during the film)? I don't recall how it was written in the book, but I like this notion. Though, of course, Nick could just be thrilled like that totally unpopular kid who's dream to become friends with the most popular (or richest) kid at school just came true.

Here is a review on a film/TV blog that I follow. It compares both Gatsby adaptations and while I haven't seen the old one, I agree with what's said about Luhrman's film, even though it seems that the reviewer doesn't think that Daisy and Gatsby's characters were different than in the book.
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June 13, 2013, 01:12:53 AM
Reply #11

merrythought

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As for Nick - I don't think this was a strong performance by Tobey McGuire, or maybe it's just the way Nick's character was created in this film - like a wide-eyed innocent puppy. And is it just me (and my friend who actually pointed it out first), or does he seem to be rather infatuated/smitten with Gatsby (it's not consistent but it did jump out at me on quite a few occasions during the film)? I don't recall how it was written in the book, but I like this notion. Though, of course, Nick could just be thrilled like that totally unpopular kid who's dream to become friends with the most popular (or richest) kid at school just came true.

I got the same idea, as did a few people I work with.  I can't recall any specific detail in the novel to suggest Nick had a thing for Gatsby; however, at least one detail from the book might suggest Nick's more interested in men than women:  the party scene at Myrtle's where Nick gets stupendously drunk and when he comes to, it seems he may have been in bed with Mr. McKee.
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November 22, 2013, 11:35:30 AM
Reply #12

Hermione P

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Hermione P, I know what you mean about the scene in the hotel with Tom and Gatsby.  In the book,
Spoiler
there's no need for physical violence because Tom has effectively lowered Gatsby in Daisy's eyes.  And aren't they all too hot to get that worked up, anyway?   ;)

Back on this topic after Tumblring Carey's Daisy for a few days. I stumbled across an article (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324030704578426990802631684) stating that this change was based on the orginal draft of Gatsby, known as Trimalchio.
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November 23, 2013, 01:13:20 PM
Reply #13

Hermione P

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One wit on Tumblr did a gif of Daisy catching one of Gatsby's shirts and declaring, "Daisy is a free elf now Daisy has no master" (my reblog: http://hermioneeowynp.tumblr.com/post/67838670942/not-in-this-universe-did-anyone-think-of-this)
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February 14, 2017, 11:25:08 AM
Reply #14

Toatan

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I like both the movie and the book, check some vital moments and symbols that you could miss here http://bigpaperwriter.com/blog/the-great-gatsby-essay
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