I got my heart broken twice this weekend. The first time was when I read The Great Gatsby. The second was when I watched the film. Because I have conquered both forms of the story, I feel like there’s an empty void inside of me—it’s the end of an era. However, this withdrawal I am going through now is totally worth the pleasure I experienced. Reading the novel and watching the movie in the same weekend brought me a short-term love affair with the 1920s and a hopeful character named Jay Gatsby.
Either my imagination is really weak or the film is truly brilliant or maybe both…but The Great Gatsby was a trillion times better than I had imagined while reading the book, which is saying a lot because Fitzgerald did a beautiful job writing the novel. The Great Gatsby is one of the most descriptive and eloquent books I’ve read. Naturally, it seemed impossible for any movie to live up to my expectations, but I was wrong. The new film not only met my expectations, it exceeded them beyond what I had hoped.
There’s a way in which the story is told through the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the cinematography of Simon Duggan, and the direction of Baz Luhrmann that makes The Great Gatsby all the more unique. You may think you know all there is to know about the Roaring 20s, but true insight of the time is not gained until you experience the fantastic spectacle of both the novel and the film.
At first, I was going to write a comparison between the book and the movie, but I realized it is unfair to separate the two. While critics can make other book vs. movie arguments till the end of eternity, I truly believe both versions of The Great Gatsby work together in perfect harmony. The rich cinematography and colors of the film embrace the vivid descriptions of the novel. The acting of the entire cast, especially Leonardo DiCaprio, brings the characters out from the pages of a book to real life. My favorite part was that every scene had so much detail to it—details that I didn’t envision while reading the story. The creators of the film really soaked up all the imagery from the book and were able to express it in film flawlessly.
I think the biggest reason why I loved the film was the two hours of pure reminiscence. A time for me to relive every line, every party, every moment of the book. It was two whole hours of perfection.
So what’s so great about The Great Gatsby, old sport?
The fact that I’m going to be in an emotional daze for days. The fact that simply going past a traffic light made me reach out of my hand, remembering the symbolic green light of Gatsby’s dream. The fact that I’ve started to casually use the term “old sport.”
I feel an obsession coming on…but I won’t mind one bit.