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Dragon Media

The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

From Book to Big Screen

‘The Great Gatsby’ Movie Review

This past month, AP English 3 has been reading “The Great Gatsby.” “The Great Gatsby” is a 1925 novel written by Scott F. Fitzgerald. It is about bond salesman Nick Carraway coming to New York and the events that occur with the group of people, including Jay Gatsby. This book is set in the Jazz Age. This book truly depicts the idea that the past cannot be repeated. 

The English classes watched a couple of scenes from the movie that were shown in detail to help understand those scenes in the book. Many students watched the whole movie in their own free time to understand the book fully and help them with discussions in class, including myself. The 2013 movie is framed as Nick Carraway telling his therapist about Jay Gatsby’s impact on him. However, in the book, there is no clear depiction of who Nick is telling this story. This point of view makes sense of Carraway’s detail and narration, but it also alters some scenes. The movie allows a better understanding of the book with the scenes being more in-depth, mostly seen through the facial reactions. All the actors in the movie did an impressive act of portraying the characters, just like the reader would imagine from the books. This movie had multiple popular actors. Such as, Jay Gatsby being played by Leonardo DiCaprio, which is one of the main reasons the movie receives so much attention. As well as, Tobey Maguire playing Nick Carroway and Carey Mulligan playing Daisy Buchanan. As a result, this movie was the director’s, Baz Luhrman’s, highest-grossing film.

I believe that this movie is structured well and fully depicts the book, unlike some other movies that were book adaptations, but I didn’t like that some important scenes that were critical to the ending weren’t in the movie, which did not provide a clear ending.

Additionally, in the book, there is a clear distinction between the West Egg and East Egg of New York with how the people acted opposite from the other city. However, in the movie, this is not shown. There is not a relative cultural difference between the two cities except for differences in how Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s husband, and Jay Gatsby, her lover, act and dress. In the books, it was emphasized that the West Egg and East Egg were very different and that they had very distinct manners due to the differences in the city’s mannerisms.

Overall, the director did an impressive job with this adaptation of The Great Gatsby. The movie was very captivating and had some comedic scenes while also being serious. This movie had a lot of detail that was similar to the book. The scenes that required a lot of emotion and commotion were fully delivered by the actors and movie writers. This was seen when Tom Buchanan confronted Jay Gatsby for being suspicious, and all the actors dramatized the emotions noticed in the book which really made the scene be full of tension and emotions. However, this movie can become not very captivating at times, especially when there are a lot more conversations occurring compared to action. There are only a few scenes like this, whereas the rest of the movie is very captivating. For example, whenever Jay Gatsby and Nick Carroway have a serious conversation, there is not a lot of emotion portrayed so it is not as interesting. On the other hand, there are a couple of scenes where there is a lot of commotion going on and a lot of things happening at once, which can become confusing. But, this only happens a couple of times and the movie slows down after the fast scenes, so it gives the viewer time to assess the previous scene. This movie allowed me to fully understand the book and visually see any components I did not understand or recognize in the book. 

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About the Contributor
Abia Hassan, Staff
Abia is a junior at Carroll Senior High School and this is her first year in Dragon Media. She loves to hangout with her family and friends. In her free time, Abia plays pickleball, reads, and is a TA at the local Mosque. Even though she wants to grow as a writer, Abia hopes to pursue a career in the medical field.