Apparently it is movie week on KnowEdits, because I’m going to talk about another film today. This time, it’s one that hasn’t come out yet: The Great Gatsby . The trailer was released at the beginning of this week, and it does look good. I’m sure Leo will do a fabulous job as the great man himself, and everyone looks the part.
I really like The Great Gatsby . It is one of about 10 books that I own in both physical and electronic book form (and 7 of those are Harry Potter books, so this is high praise from me). I even named my goldfish Gatsby in college, which in hindsight was a terrible idea, considering what happens to Gatsby in the end. Anyway, as a book lover, however, I have had to resign myself to being disappointed when it comes to my favorite books being adapted to the big screen. I will admit, The Hunger Games was good, I was pleasantly surprised (though my expectations weren’t high, so I was easy to please), and the Harry Potter films always will have a place in my heart, despite my love-hate relationship with them. I live in terror of the day when a John Green book actually makes it to the big screen, because no one will be able to do it justice.
And as for The Great Gatsby…please, tell me, how can film do that justice? Yes, the story is good, but it’s the writing that makes it such a wonder. Fitzgerald’s writing is gorgeous. “No – Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and shortwinded elations of men.” Read that sentence aloud. It. Is. BEAUTIFUL. And film can do many things, but how can it replicate that? There’s something in the prose, in the descriptions, that makes The Great Gatsby the great American novel. Yes, it’s about big American ideas, and the American dream and its ultimate failure, and it’s about money, which we all like, and all of that can be converted to film fine. But Daisy’s voice SOUNDS LIKE MONEY. And there is no way that fantastic description can be filmed. It just can’t.
That said, as a book lover and movie goer, I, like Gatsby, have “an extraordinary gift for hope” for my book-to-film adaptions. I’m definitely going to see it, and I’m excited about seeing it. I’m curious to see how the modern music works with the movie, and I’m a sucker for the art deco on the poster. But I’m not going to see it in 3D because let’s be honest, The Great Gatsby It doesn’t need anymore dimensions.