The 2013 film adaptation of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby as interpreted by movie director Baz Luhrmann, explores a post-World-War-I America when materialism and hedonism ran rampant. The scene is set in the Roaring Twenties, a historical period when economic prosperity was the order of the day and many people broke free from the encapsulating box that was the so-called societal and confining spiritual values.
While Luhrmann’s adaptation closely mimics Fitzgerald’s account, he focuses on using style to depict the epoch and draws a comparison to the modern-day class divide, lifestyle, and culture. The movie’s departure from the novel becomes immediately apparent in the lack of accuracy in representing what 1920s fashion was during the era. This departure continues to play out in the film’s misplacement of the main characters’ outfits against the epoch’s backdrop. The movie’s emphasis on decadent wealth and luxury was displayed in the way they dressed which appeared out of place next to the poor houses.
Finally, Luhrmann’s use of bright colors highlighting certain aspects of the characters cast in the film was a worthwhile attempt to bring out specific personality traits that would resonate with the audience to evoke positive or negative emotive associations with the characters.
Was Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby intended to be a literal recreation of Fitzgerald’s original work or an attempt at merging critical elements from the epoch with modern-day culture in a way that the audience would find relatable? You can find it out by downloading The Great Gatsby essay with a literary analysis of the movie’s epoch depiction. Just click the button on the top right.