Reasons for Watching: I only finished F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby a few years ago. Click on the words – Glibness of The Great Gatsby – to check out my 2008 review of the quintessential Roaring Twenties novel.
Summary of Movie: In 1929, introverted Nick Carraway is in a sanitarium, suffering from depression and alcoholism. A doctor at the sanitarium talks Carraway into writing about his experiences as a means of therapy.
Carraway describes his life in 1922, when he moved to Long Island, near his beautiful cousin Daisy Buchanan and her old money husband, two-timing Tom. His little cottage is next door to a fantastic mansion owned by the enigmatic Jay Gatsby. Gatsby hosts lavish, hedonistic parties but never invites anyone – these party goers just turn out en masse. When Carraway receives an invitation from Gatsby himself, Carraway finds himself making the acquaintance of Jay Gatsby. They become friends and Gatsby requests that Carraway arrange a meeting between Gatsby and the love of his life – Daisy.
Book to Movie Adaptation: Yes, there were some big differences. The relationship between Carraway and Daisy’s friend, golf pro Jordan Baker, appears non-existent. Numerous other things are left out, too.
Review: While I wasn’t sure I’d like the contemporary hip hop music combined with 1920s New York could be pulled off, it actually works. Another thing I liked was how much less Tobey Maguire’s Nick Carraway was. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Gatsby was sympathetic. The sets were sumptuous. I made myself wait until the movie was over before I went to the restroom because I didn’t want to miss anything. Excellent!
Four Out of Five Pearls