The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby film is a 2013 romantic drama based on the 1925 novel titled The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The original film directed by Jack Clayton in 1974 is a well-crafted and perfectly executed adaptation of the novel by Fitzgerald. Both films tend to follow the life as well as times of Jay Gatsby. A millionaire, as recounted by his neighbor, Nick, who talks about his encounter.

The characters in the films do not resemble the picture in the head while reading the book. For instance, in the 2013 movie, Jordan Barker’s character is not as developed as in the novel. According to the movie, the viewers learn almost immediately that she is an athlete. However, in the book, we learn much later that she is an athlete. The same case applies to the 1974 movie by Jack Clayton, and we also learn of Barker as a champion golfer and Daisy’s childhood friend early on in the movie.

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Both the movies are told from Nick’s point of view. In the 2013 movie, the main difference is the narrator, Nick, gets help from a doctor in what seems like an Institution for problems such as depression and alcoholism. He narrates his story from this institution (Lurhman, 1). In this movie, we are shown Nick writing down by hand, typing and compiling the final manuscripts showing that he is the narrator. However, In the 1974 movie by Clayton, the first spoken words are from Nick’s voice-over. He does the first few sentences as directly written in the novel. Additionally, his last words at the end of the movie are the same that were used in the novel. Therefore, both films are narrated from Nick’s point of view.

One of the things that got omitted is in the 2013 film is in the funeral. In the 2013 movie, no one shows up for Gatsby’s funeral, unlike in the 1974 movie where three individuals attend the burial. These people are Nick, Owl Eyes, and his father (Clayton, 1). This lack of attendance by anyone in the movie tends to increase the loneliness felt by the audience. The readers of the novel did not feel the magnitude of the loneliness because at least two individuals were present. Therefore, the movie completely changes the mood that is portrayed in the last scenes. However, in both the novel and film, Gatsby’s funeral tends to be disappointing because Daisy does not show up.

There are several new objects (symbols) that the director uses in the 2013 movie. The green light at the end of Daisy’s Dock gets prominence compared to the 1974 movie. The movie refers to the green light and is seen as unfaltering even when it is misty and rainy. It may symbolize Gatsby’s love and determination for daisy. It is similar to the green light described by Nick at the end of Daisy’s Dock. However, this is not the case in the 1974 film.

In conclusion, Luhrmann tends to take a unique approach in the movie’s adaptation of the novel. He added some new scenes to the 1974 movie by Jack Clayton to help the viewers understand more about the events that take place in the novel. However, it should be noticed that the 1974 film succeeds in demonstrating the socio-economic structure of post-World War I America.


Work Cited

Luhrmann B. The Great Gatsby. Village Road Show Pictures, 2014.

Clayton Jack. The Great Gatsby. Newdon Productions, 1974.