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The GREAT Gatsby

by EMILY BEZERRA Social Media Coordinator

“The Great Gatsby” hit theaters May 10 and was nothing less than a success.

“The Great Gatsby” is a famous novel from 1925 written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Director and writer Baz Luhrmann (also director of “Romeo & Juliet”) did a phenomenal job creating his adaption of the story, keeping me captivated and interested during the whole movie, regardless of the fact that I read the book and knew exactly what was going to happen.

The story takes place during the summer of 1922 in an affluent area of Long Island known as West Egg. Narrator Nick Carraway is a war veteran who has resided in West Egg and lives next door to millionaire Jay Gatsby. The tale follows the aura of mystery around Gatsby and his wealth, as well as his tenacious love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan.

Luhrmann’s casting was impeccable, making Leonardo DiCaprio lead as Jay Gatsby. DiCaprio alone is reason enough to see the film, being the talented actor he is. Tobey Maguire was perfect as narrator and character Carraway, as was Carey Mulligan for the part of Buchanan.

Gatsby’s character is constantly throwing spectacular parties, attended by hundreds of random guests who receive no invitations and do not know Gatsby personally. These parties consist of loud music, fancy clothes, expensive champagne, and lots of dancing. The guests often chit-chat about how Gatsby has achieved his wealth, throwing around rumors such as that Gatsby is a German spy. Such rumors enhance the aura of mystery around Gatsby.

These extravagant parties are a large aspect of the story. Luhrmann did an amazing job of bringing them to life in his movie, really capturing the glamor and making the audience feel as if they were there.

“The parties in the movies are awesome, everyone’s dressed up and drinking and dancing and having a good time,” says senior Aaron Potter.

One particular aspect of the movie that was impressive was the music. Luhrmann stated in an interview that while he kept the movie classic, he wanted to add a modern twist that the audience could recognize and appreciate. He did so by using popular music by Jay-Z and Beyonce, but incorporating their songs in an old-fashioned style. Famous singer Lana Del Rey also recorded the beautiful song “Young and Beautiful” for the film, which was played multiple times throughout the movie.

Luhrmann followed the storyline and hardly changed the dialogue, leaving a lot of it in Fitzgerald’s words. He focused on the glamorous parties and Gatsby’s wealth in a way that left the audience in awe, from Gatsby’s draw-dropping, beautiful mansion to his expensive possessions.

I appreciated that Luhrmann really focused on Gatsby’s love for Buchanan at an angle the first movie from 1973 did not. This movie allowed me, along with the audience, to feel sympathy for Gatsby. This was achieved simply by the camera focusing on the hurt expressions on Gatsby’s face, and also by the enthusiasm in his voice when he speaks of/to Buchanan.

“When Gatsby is waiting for Daisy at Nick’s house to have tea, he paces back and forth and gets all flustered. When Daisy arrives, he’s an absolute mess. It’s adorable, you can tell how much he likes her,” says sophomore Brina Haugland.

Although I could not appreciate the surprises in the movie because I read the book, I still enjoyed it – maybe even a little too much. From the casting to the music, Luhrmann has mastered yet another remake.

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