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Novel To Movie In Baz Luhrmann's Interpretation Of The Great Gatsby

898 words - 4 pages

As the case with most “Novel to Movie” adaptations, screenwriters for films will make minor, and sometimes drastic, adjustments to the original text in order to increase drama and to reach modern audiences. Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film interpretation of The Great Gatsby followed the 1925 classic great plot quite accurately, with minor deviations. However, Luhrmann made some notable differences to the characters and settings of The Great Gatsby in order for the story to relate to the current generation and to intensity the plot
The novel’s main protagonist, Nick Carraway, came from a sophisticated family; however, they didn’t have enough money to be labeled as “Old Money”. Still, in the book, Nick was more stiff-necked and at times, pretentious than his film counterpart. He shows his pretentious ways when he constantly refers to blacks as “Negroes”. He was also very observant, and he wasn’t very playful. His film counterpart, however, is far more playful. He literally jumps on top his cousin, Daisy! “Novel Nick” wouldn’t do such a thing. Also,“Novel Nick” was very judgemental. His film counterpart, however, isn’t as judgemental. In fact, we hear Nick’s inner thoughts more in the novel. The film calls for more spoken interaction between characters, so “Film Nick” doesn’t get the chance to be as judgemental. Lastly, the most striking contrast between the two appeared within the first five minutes of the movie. Nick is obviously adjudicated insane, and he is talking to his psychiatrist. On his psychiatrist’s paper, it says that Nick has a slew of issues, such as being “Morbidly Alcoholic” and having “Random Fits of Anger.” He is telling the story of Gatsby to his psychiatrist. In the novel, there was no reason for Nick telling the story of Gatsby besides retelling his adventurous summer. Luhrmann probably did this radical change from the plot to add more drama to the plot and to clarify any loose ends to the story.
Gatsby, another protagonist in the novel, didn’t have such a radical change as Nick, but there are notable changes in his character. In the novel, Gatsby was shrouded with more obscurity. Both the film and the novel portrayed Gatsby to be mysterious and elusive; however, the film allowed us to see a part of Gatsby, his ring-adorned hand, within the first ten minutes. When the film officially introduces Gatsby, it shows his ring-adorned hand first, letting the viewers know that it was Gatsby before Nick did, creating a moment of dramatic irony. In addition, “Film Gatsby” had uncharacteristic fit of rage in the Plaza scene. Instead of just arguing with Tom like “Novel Nick”, his feisty film counterpart decides to not only argue, but choke Tom violently. This, of course, was...

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