The Great Gatsby

Novel VS Movie

Scene 1: New York Party

Scene Summary: Tom Buchanan takes Nick Caraway to his New York Apartment which he keeps for his mistress, Myrtle Wilson. Nick does not care to stay due to feeling uncomfortable. Along with Tom, Nick, and Myrtle, Myrtle's sister and a couple known as the McKee's join the festivities. The group becomes very drunk and things go from good to bad. Tom hits Myrtle in the face for saying Tom's wife's name and Nick leaves the apartment and stays down the hall with the McKee's and eventually takes a train the next day back to his house.

Movie Differences: Although the film stays somewhat true to the original novel a few things are different. In the Movie, this particular scene seems to be much more raunchy. For example, in the film, it shows Nick Caraway listening to Tom and Myrtle engage in intercourse, Nick taking a pill given to him by Myrtle's sister, and the next day Nick wakes up at his house unaware of what had happened the night before.

Significance: In my opinion, I think F. Scott Fitzgerald would have never included something so vulgar in his writing. It may be implied in the novel but it wasn't actually written down in the book which is what I feel gives the novel a timeless and classy feel.

Scene 2: Plaza Hotel Scene

Scene Summary: Gatsby and Daisy cause an awkward dinner at the Buchanan's house by trying to uncover their affair to Tom. The group, also including Nick and Jordan, head to the Plaza Hotel to ease things up. Gatsby and Daisy drive Tom's blue coupe, while Jordan, Nick, and Tom drive Gatsby's yellow coupe. Tom, Nick, and Jordan stop on the way at Wilson's repair shop to get gas and Daisy spots Tom in the yellow coupe. Upon arrival to the heated hotel, Gatsby and Tom argue over Daisy's love and Gatsby's upbringings. Daisy and Gatsby become overwhelmed and the group heads back to West and East Egg.

Movie Differences: This particular scene stays very true to the Novel, excluding one particular thing. In the novel, Gatsby becomes overwhelmed at one moment and has a crazy look on his face which eventually "passes." In the Movie, Gatsby "loses his temper" and becomes a very terrifying person. Almost too terrifying. He screams and shoves Tom around and looks in to Tom's eyes with a overzealous rage.

Significance: This particular segment of this scene was much more exaggerated than the novel. This scary adaptation of Gatsby almost made me fear Gatsby and question everything that is desirable about his character.

Scene 3: Myrtle's Death

Scene Summary: On the way back from The Plaza Hotel, Gatsby and Daisy drive Gatsby's yellow coupe, while Tom, Nick, and Jordan drive Tom's blue coupe. While passing Wilson's shop, a distraught Myrtle spots the yellow coupe she saw Tom driving in earlier. She rushes on the street in an attempt to stop the coupe. The coupe hits and kills Myrtle and in a panic Gatsby and Daisy drive away from the scene in Gatsby's yellow coupe. Later, Tom, Nick, and Jordan arrive to the shop in Tom's blue coupe and go inside to see why there was such a great disruption. Tom sees the corpse of Myrtle and a devestated Wilson. When Wilson sees a familiar Tom he remembers how he had filled up the gas tank of the yellow coupe Tom was driving earlier that day and he recalled the Police saying it was a yellow coupe that struck Myrtle. Wilson approaches Tom and Tom explains how he was driving a blue coupe this time around. Nick describes Tom and Wilson going in to a back room and talking. Later Tom leaves the room a little emotional and the group makes their way back to the Buchanan residence.

Movie Difference: In the movie, when Wilson sees Tom and makes the connection that Tom had been previously driving the yellow coupe he begins to scream and once again Tom and Wilson go in to another room to speak. Only unlike the novel, the movie shows Nick overhearing Tom tell Wilson that Jay Gatsby was driving the yellow coupe that killed Myrtle.

Significance: While Gatsby's death seems inevitable in the novel, the movie almost makes it seem like Nick had seen enough to possibly prevent Gatsby's murder. This scene in the movie, along with another one where Nick watches as Daisy and Tom conspire over something a couple hours after the death of Myrtle, caused myself to become angry with Nick for not doing anything to prevent his friend's likely death.

Scene 4: Gatsby's Death

Scene Summary: After Wilson discovers the coupe was yellow and has a brief talk with Tom about what had happened, Wilson supposedly goes car garage to car garage and figures out Gatsby owned the coupe and decides to seek revenge on Gatsby. After it is reveled to the audience that Daisy was actually driving the car instead of Gatsby, Gatsby asks Daisy to go away with him so she can escape her legal trouble. Daisy is hesitant and tells Gatsby she will call him the next morning with her answer. Gatsby decideds to take a swim and while waiting for the call a emotional Wilson approaches the pool and murders Gatsby and then himself. Daisy's call never comes and her and Tom are quick to leave town eluding the public to thinking Gatsby was driving the car that murdered Myrtle. Nick is left arranging Gatsby's funeral by himself which no one cares to attend due to public out-roar over Gatsby committing hit and run.

Movie Differences: In the Movie, the end sequence is very different than what the novel portrayed it to be. Instead of Wilson going car garage to car garage trying to figure out who drove the Yellow Coupe, he is informed directly by Tom. Also, in the movie just as Gatsby dies it shows him climbing out of the pool to answer a phone call which had just come in. The movie portrays Daisy's hand reaching for her phone to give Gatsby a call but as the vision quickly fades away it shows Daisy's hand being hesitant to pick up the phone, the movie then returns back to Gatsby leaving the pool. As Gatsby leaves the pool he smiles and glares at the green light which resembles his and Daisy's love. While Gatsby watches the green light Wilson sneaks up behind him and shots him in the chest. Gatsby continues to watch the green light but begins to frown as he realizes he has been shot and is most likely going to die. He falls backward in to the pool while watching the green light and floats face down while the pool fills with his blood. Wilson then pulls the trigger on himself. The audience is then shown that it was Nick Caraway who has actually called.

Significance: In the Movie, Gatsby's death scene is much more emotional than in the book. When they showed Daisy's hand reaching for her phone but pulling away it made it seem like Daisy even considered going away with Gatsby, which was not clearly defined in the novel. By adding that small part in the movie it gave Daisy more appeal to the audience by showing them that she actually considered when really the whole time she had selfish motives and did not acknowledge the consequences of her actions. Along with that, by adding in the details of Gatsby hearing a phone ring and him looking at the green light as he died, made Gatsby's death much more sad than it was portrayed in the novel. This also changes the novel by making it seem Gatsby died as soon as he thought his dreams were coming true. When originally no phone call was placed leaving Gatsby in a realization of what happens when you live too long with a single dream at the time of his murder.

Overall Analysis

In the end, I believe the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby did great justice to the novel. The main themes of the novel were equally portrayed in the movie by director Baz Luhrmann in a visually beautiful way. Although there were small technical differences, such as the portral of Gatsby's death and the complete dropping of parts of the book (The Buchanan daughter,Gatsby's father, etc.) the overall synopsis of the movie remained true to the book. But something to keep in mind is that a movie will never perfectly do a novel justice because when someone reads something written on a page many different conclusions can be met because everyone thinks and interprets certain things in their own way based of their own experiences.
"We are always running for the thrill of it thrill of it
Always pushing up the hill searching for the thrill of it
On and on and on we are calling out and out again
Never looking down I'm just in awe of what's in front of me"


Hartt - Walking On A Dream (Empire Of The Sun Cover) by HARTT