Analysis Of The Remake Of The Film The Great Gatsby

April 28, 2022 by Essay Writer

The remake of the film The Great Gatsby was released in 2013 and directed by Baz Luhrmann. The earlier film was released way earlier in 1977, and they were based off the novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald which was published in 1925. The film is narrated by one of the main characters, Nick Carraway. He is from the Midwest and moved to New York in the hope of pursuing the “American dream.” He moved to Long Island in a little cottage across the bay from his cousin Daisy and husband Tom Buchanan and later realized his neighbor was the millionaire Jay Gatsby. This movie was set during the time of the roaring twenties. Through the casting choices of the film and the mannerisms of the lead actors, several scenes in which decadent wealth and emotional unhappiness are placed side by side, and several instances of irony within dialogue in the film, The Great Gatsby seems to be using the characters of the film to emphasize the lesson so often taken away from its source novel: the idea of placing too much value in materialism rather than emotional fulfillment or investment in one’s relationship.

The actors and actresses chosen for this film really helped make this movie so successful. The casting choice of Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, in my opinion, is a perfect fit. In some ways the characteristics between DiCaprio and Gatsby are sort of similar in the way their personas are viewed as strong and influential. Also, in the way they both are ambitious in how they wanted their life to be and did whatever possible to achieve that. But they are very different too in how Gatsby tried to forget most of his past life and held onto the idea of Daisy in hope of that showing her his wealth would help them reconnect. And I believe DiCaprio embraces his childhood in how his acting career started when he was young, and it made him the man he is today.

Another amazing casting choice would be Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. For the film he narrates the story from his perspective and shows flashbacks of the story and how it all went down. The film starts off with Nick at a therapist and not being able to talk about his experiences in New York and is told to write about them. In the movie you are able to tell the connection Maguire had with his character and that maybe he knew someone in similar shoes as Nick that helped his portray him so accurately. I believe the opening of the movie when he spoke for the first time set a tone for the whole movie.

Carey Mulligan as the lead female character Daisy is an exceptional choice. The way she got into character and got across the message that she is extremely wise but comes off as an easy-going character. Most people would consider Daisy as just someone’s wife who is so obsessed with the fact of money but when you think about it her story is very sad. Mulligan had to put so much thought into how to approach this character, but her performance as Daisy couldn’t have been any more perfect. She showed her sympathetic side in how she seemed to keep distant from her daughter showed that she cared in that she was her to be a fool in hopes she wouldn’t have to see how the real world is.

One of the first scenes which display the fight between wealth and happiness of the characters is when Gatsby and Daisy see each other for the first time in five years. Nick agrees to invite Daisy over for tea, so Gatsby can talk to her and initially offers him money for the arrangement but agrees to someone to come over and cut his grass. It’s the morning of the day they meet, and Gatsby has multiple workers over at Nicks house to cut grass, add greenery, and make it look nicer in general. This shows that Gatsby wanted to go over and beyond to show/impress Daisy in with the “beauty” that money can buy. Also, once Gatsby gets to Nick’s house he brings more workers with an abundant number of flowers and snacks. When Daisy arrives, she is in awe of all the beautiful flower and is in shock when she’s Gatsby, their interaction is very awkward in that no one walking talking and Gatsby seemed frantic in that he kept knocking over things. Later Daisy cried in tears of joy and Gatsby was so called glowing but, this scene kind of critiques the emptiness in each other’s life and how they value materials over the relationship.

Later on, when Gatsby takes Nick and Daisy on a tour of his mansion there is a particular scene where the characters dependence for wealth is displayed. They walk into Gatsby’s closet where he begins to throw many different shirts from the second level to the bed where Daisy is standing and seems very happy. This is another demonstration of his wealth and how care free he is with his money and his transformation from when they met and was poor to now. But after he continues to throw them she jokingly says “stop” and “you’ll ruin them” and jumps around a little more before she falls over and begins to break down. Gatsby asks what’s wrong she says, “it makes me sad”, and at this point I believe she’s rethinking all previous decisions of marrying her husband Tom for his wealth and not waiting for Gatsby. Showing that she has maybe “given up” and let her value for wealth cloud her judgement. Even though Gatsby also is in this trap of wealth I think he genuinely does love Daisy, but this scene feels like it’s a reflection on what their life could have been together. The shirts in some ways symbolize the life they would have had. And Daisy’s tears symbolize her desire for money.

The next scene that critiques their unhappiness with the wealth they have would be the day where Gatsby goes to Daisy’s house which leads to them going to hotel room in New York in the middle of a heat wave with Tom and Nick. Gatsby was invited to Daisy’s house in the hopes that she would come out and tell Tom that she never loved him, and she only loved Gatsby, which isn’t what happened. Once Gatsby gets there the tension is very high because of the ridiculous heat and that Tom is getting hints about them two. The scorching heat may symbolize Gatsby’s and Daisy’s relationship, maybe hinting that it’s all about to go downhill. Daisy states that she is bored, and they should do something, so she asks Gatsby to go into the city leading Gatsby to give Daisy a little look and Tom knew. Tom wanting to confront it all took on Daisy’s idea having them all go to New York but have Gatsby and Daisy drive alone. Once they get to the hotel suite Tom started making remarks on Gatsby with how he says, “old sport” and asked him if he’s even an Oxford man liked he once stated, and Gatsby continued with that he was for a total of five months. Daisy tries to calm Tom down but doesn’t work so he continues with saying that he guesses he is supposed to just sit back and watch a nobody has an affair with his wife. This part is very ironic with that fact that Tom has also has had multiple affairs with other women and Daisy hasn’t really done anything about it, so their roles kind of switched. To make the situation even worse Gatsby states that your wife does not love you and how she never loved him and that she loves in fact Gatsby. Then states that she only married Tom because he was poor, and she was tired of waiting, which I have said multiple times. But even with all that Gatsby and Tom were saying Daisy couldn’t tell Tom that she never loved his because that would have been a lie. She broke down and said that did once love Tom but not anymore and that she loves Gatsby now and that should be enough for him, but it was not.

Tom goes on about Gatsby and how he is a so-called bootlegger and is a nobody taking money from other which upsets Gatsby profusely causing him to break stuff and grabs Tom threatening to punch him. Everyone was frigtened and he apologized saying he just lost his temper, and in attempt to talk to Daisy he went over and tried to talk to her quietly but every time he spoke she was drawing further away from him. I believe this to be one of the most influential points in the film that lead to the demise of Gatsby. Also, this specific scene criticizes the irony that’s inherent in the characters being that how they are in such a luxurious location but are so unhappy with life. So, the meaning money can’t buy happiness is translated to that money can buy you whatever you could possibly need, but happiness must be lived and earned.

Also, there is specific moments of dialogue in the film that is iron in that it emphasizes the idea of placing too much value on items. One specific dialogue that is said a lot in this film that stuck out to me would be how Gatsby repeatedly says, “old sport.” This saying is from the old money background which is what Gatsby associates himself with. He tells Nick he is the son of a wealthy family from the Midwest who are all passed away now. And him using these saying projects a wise man’s identify and with whom he wants to be considered. When he calls Nick old sport I think its him showing his feelings towards him are genuine and he actually cares for him as a friend. I feel like Gatsby believes that if he can continue to use sayings like this one and show off his wealth with all the parties he throws it will help convince others and Daisy that he is finally worthy. But Tom was not fooled by all of Gatsby’s lies and exposed him showing Daisy that in fact he is not the so called rich man he has become.

More dialogue in the film would be how Daisy talks and how it’s sort of airy and seems like it often has no meaning to it. There is definitely a sympathetic feel for her throughout the film but also, she seems cowardly. During the setting of the film women still had very few rights and, in the twenties, it was considered more normal to marry rich but the way she idolizes money is to an extreme. She could be seen as a shallow person but at the same time you feel sympathy towards her because of how the role of a women was back then. A certain point in this film where feel the most for her is when she was talking about when she gave birth to child and when she found out the gender. When she found out it was a girl she was glad that it was a girl but hoped she’ll be a fool because its what’s best, a beautiful little fool. This shows that in fact Daisy is wise and maybe doesn’t want her daughter to go thought what she has and saying they women have a better life being ignorant and oblivious of the world.

The dialogue on how Nick narrates certain parts of the film and how he is so in awe of Gatsby. This whole film would technically not be possible without Nick Carraway in it. He is the one who connects all the characters together with how Gatsby is his neighbor and is long lost lovers with Daisy, who is his cousin and she is married to Tom which he knew from college when they both went to Yale together. He is the character that actually changes throughout the movies while the others stay the exact same, but I do think he helped the characters show their true colors. Compared to the other characters he definitely sticks out but in a good way, he doesn’t do thinks just to benefit from them and he seems be a genuine person. But I think the demise of Gatsby might have led to the downfall of Nick and why he ended up in the doctor’s office with all of his problems. Nick thought so highly of Gatsby and said he was the most hopeful being he ever met and was so sincere. He praised him so much and got caught up in his life and when he died Nick was heartbroken and believed he was the only one who truly understood Gatsby.

There’s one thing that’s stood out to me would be how infatuated he was with Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship. He is so preoccupied with Gatsby and Daisy’s attempt of a relationship maybe because he himself feels inadequate as in the “story.” Nick helps Gatsby out with connecting him and Daisy out and for the whole rest of the film seems to want their relationship to work. I guess it has to be because of the fact that he dies think so highly of Gatsby and sort of wants to be like him in the way he views life. And how that Nick see’s the best in people and feels accomplished if this works out because his life does not have a lot going on without Gatsby. As you can see in the beginning of the movie he is seeing a therapist who shows a list of diagnosis’s which most likely resulted after the death of Gatsby, but it helped him a lot to write about all the memories he has with had with Gatsby which leads to the whole story of Nick explaining Gatsby’s life.

To conclude, there is multiple different rhetorical devices in this film that helps explain the ultimate lessons the characters learned. The depiction of each pieces of evidence provides information about certain details in the film making it work so well. The casting choices of the film help show the mannerism of the lead actors/actresses, and specifics scenes in which an enormous amount of wealth and the state of unhappiness and seen compared, and many instances of irony in specific movements of dialogue in the film The Great Gatsby allow the characters to show the overall lesson in the movie which is the idea of placing a large value in objects rather than relationships with others.


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