Friday, May 27, 2016

Gatsby Book & Baz Luhrmann Movie Comparison

Though I was not in class on Tuesday, I did watch part of Baz Luhrmann's version of The Great Gatsby on Wednesday.
Out of all the parts of the movie I watched, the scene that struck me most was where Daisy and Gatsby met at Nick's house for the first time in 5 years. Fitzgerald writes, "At eleven o’clock a man in a raincoat dragging a lawn-mower tapped at my front door and said that Mr. Gatsby had sent him over to cut my grass" (Fitzgerald 83). I remember that in the movie there was way more than one lawn-mower. I recall Nick opening up his front door to see his entire front lawn renovated by numerous gardeners (as pictured below). The numerous amounts of lawnmowers play into Gatbsy's lavish and excessive ways. It is interesting to note that there are black gardeners in this scene. In the book, the subject of race only ever arises in conversation during that one dinner at the beginning of the novel where Tom talks about "the Rise of the Colored Empires". In the movie, Luhrmann reminds us that there is a world that exists out of the white upper class.

Also, when Nick describes that "The flowers were unnecessary, for at two o’clock a greenhouse arrived from Gatsby’s, with innumerable receptacles to contain it" (Fitzgerald 85), I would have never imagined the scene in the movie. Though Gatsby explains that the flowers he brought home were unnecessary, the word "greenhouse" didn't resonate with me as a room completely filled with white flowers. Although this difference is an interpretive difference, I think it really changes my perception of that chapter. I thought that the room would be a lot emptier. Yet, the numerous flowers are in line with Gatsby's extravagant ways, so overall, I think Luhrmann made a great choice implementing the flowers.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie (the parts that I watched) and I'd say that it was very accurate. Though, I was thrown off by the characters' mannerisms because they didn't really look like what I'd imagined. I cannot pinpoint what exactly I had imagined while reading the book, but these characters were not exactly it, though I do think the actors did a very good job portraying the characters.

1 comment:

  1. Great observation about race in the novel and the film! I also agree the reunion scene rivals what I expect in the novel!