Movie vs. Book

Creating a movie version of a book that is as well-known and well-loved as “The Great Gatsby” is not an easy task. The most recent movie version is the 2013 film directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo di Caprio and Carey Mulligan. Luhrmann's movie is colorful, energetic and fast-paced, presenting a 21st-century take on the culture of the 1920s. This is particularly evident in his use of pop music and rap as a soundtrack. The plot of the movie broadly follows the storyline and presentation of Fitzgerald's original novel, but there are several key places where it differs.

When the film opens, Nick Carraway (played by Tobey Maguire) is introduced as the film's narrator, much as he is in the book. However, in the movie he is at a psychiatric hospital recovering from alcoholism. This idea of Nick as a man broken by the events he witnessed is far removed from the collected and somewhat distant tone of Fitzgerald's original narrator.

In the movie, Gatsby's wealth is much more obviously gained through illegal means. When Gatsby takes Nick to lunch, they go through a secret door into a “speakeasy”, a secret club where alcohol is served freely and provocative...

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