F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was one of my favorite novels in high school. As a fourteen-year-old hopeless romantic, I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of awe for the figure of Gatsby– a man so in love with a woman that he created an entire persona and empire to be near that woman…to finally win her affection and make her his wife. I also remember having an equally powerful dislike for Tom and Daisy. Figures whom Nick Carroway so justly describes as a “careless people, Tom and Daisy– [who] smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made” (Fitzgerald 188).
Baz Luhrmann took on no easy task, translating this great American novel from its textual form to the screen. I will admit that I normally don’t believe a film can compete with a novel if one reads the novel before watching the movie–for how can a film compete with ones imagination? That being said, I’ve found that the further I get from the moment I read the book, the more I tend to like the movies that they’re based on. This film, however, exceeded my expectations by a landslide.