The Great Gatsby (2013 Film)

Using Film to Expand Upon The Great Gatsby 12th Grade

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald explores the whirlwind lives of the 1920s New York upper class. In the novel, Fitzgerald criticizes the unattainability of the American Dream as well as the shallow nature of the upper class. From this novel, several movie adaptations have stemmed, including movies directed by Clayton (1974) and Luhrmann (2013), each interpreting the novel differently. While Clayton presents a literal, superficial interpretation of the work, Luhrmann expands on the existing work while staying true to the heart of the novel, ultimately making it the more effective adaptation.

The choices in soundtrack and audio editing impact the reception of both movies. Clayton chose to have time-period accurate pieces, choosing to have the parties be very traditional in tone and mood. While this sets the proper time period for the work, it limits the interpretations of the scenes by taking such a surface level analysis. The parties, while containing the debauchery so prominent through Fitzgerald’s book, is limited by this literal interpretation and the scenes come across as acoustically underwhelming despite the intense or desperate actions of Gatsby. However, Luhrmann chose to use modern music to overlay the...

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