Film Analysis: The Great Gatsby

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It is a daunting challenge to adapt an iconic novel into a film. The artistic team behind the process must find a way to stay true to the original, while simultaneously creating a new and creative viewing experience. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby is arguably the greatest American novel of the 20th century. There are numerous film adaptations of the novel, each attempting to translate Fitzgerald’s beautiful poetic prose into cinematic gold. To some, the novel itself lacks a memorable plot, and is exclusively thought of as a novel studied in high school. The readers may not be able to recall the exact story line, but the colourful and descriptive writing is unforgettable. How can a filmmaker translate Fitzgerald’s intangible prose into a meaningful film? How can the filmmaker show this beauty through visuals rather than telling with words? The following paragraphs of this paper will answer these questions, while focussing on adapting The Great Gatsby into a melodrama. This is done by emphasizing the romance and minimizing Nick as the narrator and lead. Furthermore, with the use of camera angles,…show more content…
Some individuals make drastic changes, but with a story as iconic as The Great Gatsby, it is key to remain faithful to the original. Small changes are unavoidable and welcome, as long as they do not change the meaning of the text. When it comes to approaching film adaptation John Harrington elaborates on this idea and argues that, Two things are extremely important iv [adaptation]: one, a really deep empathy with the material, the author 's theme, intention, and view of life; and two, an unblocked imagination which is able to flow freely from the original source, playing. . extending, and, in the most successful adaptations, even enriching the original material (Harrington,
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