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Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Flicks: The Great Gatsby

A weekly review of a book to film adaptation. 

The Great Gatsby is a novel that has famously failed to cross into other mediums. With this latest adaptation, by director Baz Luhrman, I was curious to see how Luhrman's unique style would interpret this classic story. I entered the theater with a fair amount of trepidation, especially after the largely mixed reviews that I'd read. To my surprise, I really enjoyed this adaptation.

 There were a couple of major alterations to the novel's original story, namely Nick's background and the events that take place after his time with Gatsby, but the film was mostly faithful to the novel. Many of the reviews argued against the director's style over substance approach, but I disagree with these claims. While there are moments of dazzling camera acrobatics and 3D effects, there are also many moments of quiet introspection. DiCaprio's Gatsby is probably the most sincere portrayal of this character that there will ever be. His interactions with both Maguire's Nick and Mulligan's Daisy seemed genuine, and I could really feel the soul of the man behind the facade he had made for himself. 

This unique interpretation will, no doubt, garner mixed reaction amongst the faithful readers and casual moviegoers. In the end, it is probably impossible to perfectly translate the intentions of the novel into a film, but this one comes pretty close.

Have you read the novel or seen the movie? If so, what did you think of it? What book adaptations would you like to see as a future Friday Flicks post?

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