Recently out 3D romantic drama film The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton is Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same title.
It follows the life and times of millionaire Jay Gatsby and his neighbor Nick, who recounts his encounter with Gatsby at the height of the Roaring Twenties.
This is a film that tramples on Fitzgerald's exquisite prose, turning the oblique into the crude, the suggestively symbolic into the declaratively monumental, the abstract into the flatly real. It's a pared-down novel where the use of "unrestfully" instead of "restlessly" is important, and where Carraway can speak of Jordan "changing the subject with an urban distaste for the concrete".
Many find The Great Gatsby to be F. Scott Fitzgerald's greatest work. Be that as it may, the novel's neat and well-crafted prose is imbued with much insight about the American nouveau riche in the 1920s.
Its - let's call them - lessons are valuable and, according to at least one author (A. Chakrabortly), quite relevant in Britain and America today .
And yet, 90 years on from The Great Gatsby we are in a world that Fitzgerald would have recognised.
You might find you enjoy the movie more fully if you read Fitzgerald's great novel first (which we cordially recommend).
Wanna read it but don't have the time to go looking for it?No worries, here it is:
Did you know . . .
Last Call (written and directed by Henry Bromell, starring Jeremy Irons, Neve Campbell, and Sissy Spacek), portrays Fitzgerald during the final months of his life as he recounts memories with his youthful secretary and confidant, Frances Kroll. She later writes a memoir of their time spent together.
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