The Great Gatsby is based on Scott F. Fitzgerald’s novel of the same title, widely acclaimed as one of America’s finest novels. The movie version is filled with vivid color and the wild energy of New York in the Roaring Twenties. This story is told by Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) who recounts the tale of his friendship with the wealthy and mysterious Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio).
One of my favorite parts of the movie is the music. Surprisingly, the soundtrack includes songs and covers by contemporary artists Lana Del Rey, Beyoncé, Florence and the Machine, and Emeli Sandé. Initially, I did not notice the modern music because it is integrated so naturally into the party scenes. I expected more authentic music from the time period, but the familiar, upbeat music adds to the excitement of Gatsby’s parties. The modern music helps the audience understand what the atmosphere was like and just how exciting these parties were to everyone.
At times, the movie is a bit too splashy and modern, and some of the party scenes are too lengthy and over the top. These scenes are tiresome to watch, and distance the viewer from the movie. That aside, I found the film very moving, especially the ending. The final line of the movie (and the book), “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” is very powerful; this line ties back to the theme of reliving the past and illuminates the main point of the film. I think many other viewers felt the same way, because even as the credits began to roll, the audience sat silently in awe for a few seconds before leaving their seats.