The Great Gatsby

It’s just less than 3 weeks until ‘The Great Gatsby’ is going to be released in cinemas and I can’t tell you how excited I am. It’s one of the few films that I have actually anticipated seeing in a while, certainly one of the only ones that I have found out the release date for (16th May in the UK if you’re interested). I’m really looking forward to seeing how Baz Luhrmann has directed it. I love his version of Romeo and Juliet, which may have a little bit to do with Leonardo DiCaprio starring in the leading role, but nevertheless I think it’s a great film. I’m expecting something just as good for Gatsby, although, having said that it could never be as good as the book (as films never are) and perhaps I’m going to ruin it for myself by building up my expectations too high; I want to be enchanted by the glamour and grandeur! Yet the trailer is very promising and what I’ve heard of the soundtrack sounds brilliant. I have faith that if anyone can do Gatsby justice, it will be Baz Luhrmann.

Take a look at the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rARN6agiW7o

I think the novel is brilliant. My friend at uni recommended it only fairly recently to me as her favourite book and while I’m not sure I would rate it quite as highly (I think there are few others that could compete for my favourite), I’m very glad she introduced me to it. It is an American literary classic for a reason and I think Fitzgerald is an excellent writer. I really enjoyed reading it and while in some ways I don’t agree with all the hype it gets (I suppose I’m adding to that right now) I can appreciate why it gets so much; there is just something about it that sets the book apart from so many others.

The story is not particularly breath-taking or one that has not been told before in some other form, yet it catches the imagination vividly and the weight of false promises and dashed hopes is heavy on your mind after you’ve finished reading. I found it incredibly sad and there is something very poignant about the ending (I won’t spoil it, you’ll have to read it yourself to find out if you haven’t already). The decadence and excitement of the 1920’s “jazz age” just adds to the book’s appeal and Gatsby’s fantastically lavish parties are like some sort of dream world that work as the perfect setting for Gatsby to live the allusion he creates for himself and of himself. I love his descriptions, each so carefully constructed and perfect for what he is describing, yet so original, I feel like he must have worked on each one individually, which I feel quite a lot of other authors don’t do. Some tend to brush over descriptive passages, or they don’t make as much of them as they could. In ‘The Great Gatsby’ it never seems to be just descriptive and something new that you didn’t spot before presents itself when you re-read passages, which I found that I did quite a lot, just for pleasure because they seemed so beautifully written. The more you read it the more you can get out of it and it’s definitely a book I will be returning to again and again.

the-great-gatsby-2012

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