“Hello, Old Sport” –– The Great Gatsby : A Time Transcending Classic
An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby’s nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.
A Sneak Peek Into “The Great Gatsby”
Spring 1922, New York City.
Nick Carraway, a wide-eyed Yale graduate bond-seller had just moved to New York City. He rented a small house on Long Island, in the fictional village of West Egg, next door to the lavish mansion. Settling into a home next to the mysterious multimillionaire who constantly hold extravagant parties every weekend, Nick grew increasingly curious and fascinated by the elaborate parties held at his new neighbor’s estate.
Because of his curiosity constantly itching the back of his mind, Nick decided to carry out his own research on the man by observing his lavishly extravagant parties from afar and asking around to see if he could dig up more information that way.
It wasn’t long however, until one day, the man –– Jay Gatsby –– himself visited Nick’s house and extended an invitation for Nick to join his party. Nick, who was reluctant to accept the invitation at first, eventually agreed as his curiosity won out. On the inside, Gatsby’s party was just like everything that Nick would have imagined. It was wild, lavish, explosive and yet elegant. It was then too that Nick realized that despite Gatsby throwing these extravagant parties every weekend, he never seemed to participate in it.
As the night went on and the crowd started to thin out, Nick and Gatsby managed to converse with more ease. When he was asked why he chose to live in Long Island, Nick mentioned his work and his pursuit of the American Dream. At the same time, also mentioning that he wanted to visit his cousin, Daisy Buchanan. At the mention of Daisy’s name, Gatsby’s whole demeanor changed. He was all at once nervous yet ecstatic.
Having developed a budding friendship with Nick, Gatsby asked him to arrange a meeting with Daisy, who was then already married to the brutish and philandering Tom Buchanan. Despite hearing the fact that Daisy, Gatsby’s true love, had already married another man, Gatsby didn’t waver in his decision to see her again. It seemed that, there was even a small part of Gatsby that seemed confident that he would be able to win Daisy’s heart over.
As Nick complied he came to realize that Gatsby, once a poor boy, has spent decades to recreate himself into a fascinating, well connected and successful multimillionaire purely to woo Daisy back. However, it didn’t seem like Gatsby was alone in his feelings, as Daisy too seemed to hold a soft spot for Gatsby in her heart.
Unable to resist being drawn into Gatsby’s captivating and fabulous world of wealth and debauchery, Nick soon became entangled in Gatsby’s impossible love triangle and his unrequited passion for his married cousin, Daisy. As he bear witness to their illusions and deceits, overpowering impulses and fervent desires paved way for bitter heartbreak and blood-soaked tragedy.
3 Words to Sum Up The Great Gatsby
GORGEOUS, MELANCHOLIC , WILD
To be quite honest, I have actually been wanting to write a review on The Great Gatsby for at least 2 years. I have tried time and again to sit in front of the computer, gathered up what I wanted to say, however as soon as I stare at this blank sheet of a post, I would always panic and in the end copped out.
I mean, I have written bunch of other reviews –– as you know if you have followed this blog long enough. I don’t know why, but I would always get nervous before writing a review about The Great Gatsby. I suppose, the fact that The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite movie played a role in my nervousness of “everything needs to be perfect”. However this ends today. I have sat on this long enough. I mean, if not now, when?
Your girl is finally pulling the trigger to attempt to write up at least a decent review on The Great Gatsby. And if I fail that, well. Fuck.
PLOTTING, ACTORS, SOUNDTRACK
I won’t go too deep into this as there really is nothing much that I could really say other than giving endless amounts of praises.
I know that there are a lot of critiques regarding The Great Gatsby and how it was executed. Some says that the whole movie was too much, too wild, thus missing the mark and not being able to really convey what F. Scott Fitzgerald was trying to say when he was writing this novel. While I do agree with it to a certain point, with the ending being a little all over the place, not to mention “the eye” that suddenly came out of nowhere seemingly without having any real connection to the storyline. Despite all those errors however, I still think the director Baz Luhrmann still did a pretty solid job adapting The Great Gatsby from its novel form into a movie.
Not to mention, can we just give Lana Del Rey a standing ovation for singing Young and Beautiful for The Great Gatsby? Her voice is honestly just the perfect amount of desolation, beauty and eeriness that fits so well with this movie.
There is something about Gatsby that pulls people in. If we were to list it out, then I would say that the first, most obvious thing would be his wealth. Second, would be his connections. Third I suppose, his eccentricity (?)
There are a lot of reasons why Gatsby turn heads as soon as he walked into the room. Various people see and perceive different things when they see Gatsby. I don’t know what that might be, but for me personally, it would be the air of melancholy that he possesses. Despite him being all successful, wealthy and surrounded by just any type of individuals that one could think of, he always carried this somber atmosphere.
It’s not necessarily because he’s not happy, as I believe Gatsby enjoys a lot out of his wealth and lavish life. It’s because despite all this wealth that he has amassed over the years, there is really no one that he could really share it with.
GATSBY AND HIS ILLUSIONS
For those who have watched the movie and are not too bright –– like me –– we have all rushed to google to figure out just what it is that The Great Gatsby is trying to convey. There are a lot of symbolisms at play. On the surface, this movie seems very simplistic. It’s a story of a man who pines for a woman who he cannot have. However, as we go deeper into the movie, there was a mention of the green light, the eyes, daisy herself, and many more.
Taking the green light for example, it represents Gatsby’s dream and hope. He deliberately chose a mansion in a direction from where he could view the green light, and was seen to frequent the dock to stare at it. The green light seems to signify his innermost desire to revive his past. Memories with Daisy before Gatsby went away for war, the gap between the past and present, through the green light it seems to say that Gatsby is hopeful that one day he will be able to win back all the lost moments. Which in the end comes to express Gatsby’s artificial and unrealistic aims in life.
Everything that Gatsby does in this movie, seems to center around one thing : Daisy. His obsession with being with Daisy, and winning her heart back pushes him to go through many hardships to prove to her that he too, could be successful and wealthy. To attain the American Dream, Gatsby believes that, once he was rich, all he would need in life is Daisy and everything in life would be perfect. However, as the movie progresses, it started to make the viewers question Gatsby’s intention. Is he really in love with Daisy herself, or with the idea of her?
If I were to sum up Daisy into one word, it would be self-centered. Her behavior is utterly distasteful throughout the movie. Since I’m usually one to root for the underdog –– in this case, Gatsby –– and a hopeless romantic, I kept trying to give Daisy the benefit of the doubt, but man, this woman is impossible to love.
She puts herself before everything and anyone else. Even before her daughter and husband. Her world is filled with materialistic things, as I believe she only married Tom Buchanan for that reason alone. Daisy, similar to her name, appears to be innocent and pure, but as the story unfolds and we get to know her a little bit more, her heart is filled with lust, carelessness and greed. She strings Gatsby along and lets him believe that she will leave Tom for him, only to later realize that the comfort and lavish lifestyle that Tom could give her trumps the importance of love for Daisy.
MOVIE VS. BOOK
Me being a total bookaholic and head over heels in love with this film, you would have though that I’d have read the book, well yes, but no.
I have given it a fair go, but just from the very descriptive few pages alone, I don’t think I’d enjoy F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing a whole lot. Despite that however, don’t let my opinion discourage those of you who would like to give the novel a try. From what I’ve heard, it seems like the novel delve deeper into how America was in the 1900s, the parties, sex, drugs, recession and the whole nine yards. And of course also delving deeper into the mind of the characters, especially Gatsby.
For me personally, The Great Gatsby will stand as my favorite movie of all time. There is just something about it that keeps me coming back for more despite already watching it 6 times. Not only the fact that this movie was cinematically perfect, there are also so many symbolization that was hidden throughout the movie that finding it and figuring what it means are like discovering hidden treasures every single time.
I think the fact that The Great Gatsby doesn’t just tell a story, but are also –– to a certain extent –– pointing out the irony of life and how empty and meaningless it could be struck a cord with me. What Gatsby felt –– loneliness and hopelessness –– are the things that a lot of us have felt, but never really talked about and addressed. This movie actually made me pause and really think about what truly matters in the end. Because looking at Gatsby, the old adage of “money can’t buy happiness” seems to ring true.
With that said, I get that this movie have been heavily criticized like I mentioned above, however, if you haven’t had the chance to watch this yet, I definitely recommend giving it a chance. Even if you didn’t end up enjoying it as much as you’d have liked, at least you can say that now have another classic tale under your belt.