The Great Gatsby is simply a an excellent work of American fiction. I don’t many people who will argue otherwise so I will not review the book itself. While I had read the book back in high school, I chose to listen to the book recently in order to get ready for the new movie. As I was listening to the book, I had the thought that the style of narration reminded me a bit of another more modern book that I had just read called The Perks of Being A Wallflower.
Most everyone would agree that a major reason that The Great Gatsby is such a good novel is because of the imagery that is created and the detail that is injected into it. The words are chosen very carefully and that is what, I believe, keeps it timeless. Whereas before I perhaps couldn’t specifically identify why I liked The Perks of Being A Wallflower so much, now that I see the comparison I understand now why it resonated so well with me. Perks also was filled with excellent imagery and appropriate detail, and in both novels the narrator is there to make observations as well as participate with the world around him. It will be interesting to see if Perks withstands the test of time nearly as well as The Great Gatsby has.
Now for my review of the movie: the words “a feast for the eyes” kept going through my mind as I watched the movie. I saw the movie in 3D, which I recommend. I feel that Baz Lurhmann was a good pick as director for this film, which is based on a novel regaled for its excellent imagery, as he is known for being able to create very dramatic and over the top scenes. For example, when listening to the book, you can feel the excitement experienced by the party goers and you can practically feel the heat coming from the hotel room at the Plaza and this movie equally accomplishes those feats for the moviegoer. The actors were excellently chosen as well.
The movie did not stray too much from the source material, which I can’t imagine being too difficult seeing as it only took 4 hours to listen to the book. There was one scene revolving around the accident with Myrtle that was altered that bothered me. The director decided to reinterpret what put George Wilson on his path for revenge and I found it entirely unnecessary and irritating. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the movie and I will likely purchase it for my home collection.