The Great Gatsby is a Great Book

The third trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s new film The Great Gatsby was released on Thursday and features music from Andre 3000, Lana Del Rey, Florence + the Machine, and a haunting cover of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black by Beyonce. The trailer looks great, and I think the music works really well, but there’s that little part of me that’s a little bit worried for Luhrmann. And that’s because The Great Gatsby is a great book.

Though I do love F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1920’s classic, I’m definitely not it’s biggest fan. That’s not because I don’t think it’s beautifully written, disturbing, and captivating, but because there are just so many people out there who simply adore it. The Great Gatsby is one of those ‘name-dropped’ books, and I would say it’s a bit of a ‘cult classic’ except that’s so widely taught at schools, which is perhaps another reason for its popularity – I mean, sitting in an A-level class reading either The Great Gatsby or Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and it’s not hard to imagine what may prevail as ‘the favourite’.

The problem with books on film is that people not only love but live their favourite books. We know exactly what our Gatsby looks like, how we imagine his house, dreaming to attend his parties. Nobody is ever going to be able to show us the book as we know it. And, yes, that may leave many a fan disappointed because the director excluded their favourite line, or somehow you’d never pictured Jay Gatsby as looking quite like Leonardo DiCaprio. But film has such an important role to play in how we tell stories today. It is  absolutely valid as a narrative, even a ‘text’ in itself, and it opens itself up to a whole new audience. 

I loved Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, and I think his energetic use of colour and music will be very fitting for Gatsby’s parties. My one word of warning would be, however, don’t expect The Great Gatbsy to be the book as you loved it.

11 thoughts on “The Great Gatsby is a Great Book

  1. I was so worried when the other trailers were released because I agree that they presented the film in such a different light to the book. But also the fact that it has been pushed back so many times for release that now it just needs to come out!

    • I think Luhrmann always does something a bit different with film and I loved what he did with Romeo + Juliet so fingers crossed it has the same effect – though he seems to be sticking a lot closer to the original with ‘The Great Gatsby’ than R+J! I’d love to hear your thoughts once it’s been released – thanks for taking the time to comment!

  2. First, thanks for visiting my blog! I, too, loved The Great Gatsby and read it a few times since my kids had to read it for school. Usually I love the book more than the movie…visually, i bet it will be a beautiful movie. I hope it’ll be a good one!!!!!!

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