Baz Luhrmann The Great Gatsby Essay

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The Great Gatsby, which on the surface is purely a love story, is a symbolic depiction of 1920’s America. The original text utilises complex literary techniques and characterisation to depict the affects of materialism, wealth sociology, and the power of ideas in the downfall of the ‘American Dream’. Baz Luhrmann’s reimagining foreground these themes through use of sophisticated cinematic techniques. The story is set in 1920’s New York, an era and location home to cynicism, greed and empty pursuits. This era, influenced by a generation of newly returned soldiers, disillusioned with trivial Victorian social morality instead occupies themselves with entertainment and extravagance. Scott Fitzgerald exemplifies this modern obsession by Gatsby’s opulent parties. The congested parties, juxtaposed later with Gatsby’s empty funeral, display the shallow nature of this rampant materialism. Luhrmann conveys this in his individual and theatrical style, applying a post modern aesthetic through sound and camera techniques, conveying to his contemporary audience, Fitzgerald’s important themes. His panoramic and long range camera shots, full of colour…show more content…
Within the original text Gatsby’s unattainable dream is symbolised by a Green Light; Gatsby’s own metaphor for Daisy and his dream. The film’s opening scene displays this light and Gatsby’s reaching hand, introducing the metaphor to the audience for the first time. Henceforth the colour green is used by Luhrmann to represent Gatsby’s idea of success. The culminating example of this is Gatsby’s death scene. Gatsby waits for Daisy’s call, bathing in his eerily green pool. In this moment his dream is at its closest. He is surrounded by success, then in an instant he is killed, dying amongst the tokenism of his idea. This symbolism highlights to the audience that this dream, his goal, is what eventually led to his
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