Great Gatsby Film Analysis

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Rachel Hobson
HON English 3
September 11, 2011

Critical Analysis: The Great Gatsby Film
The classic American novel, The Great Gatsby, presents a major theme of passing time. Losing Daisy meant losing Gatsby’s entire world, which he only kept alive through his hope of repeating the past. Daisy is a symbol of everything he values and therefore became the entity of his dream: his dream of spending the rest of his life with Daisy, the woman he loves undeniably. But Gatsby doesn’t realize his dream is unattainable because unfortunately, he cannot go back in time or recreate the past. Gatsby is stuck in the past, longing for the relationship between him and Daisy, and can’t accept the future, resulting in his own death. This is depicted in The Great Gatsby movie by using the filming techniques of framing and color. In the opening of the movie, Gatsby’s room is being shot. The majority of objects in the frame are the numerous pictures of Daisy, who is bedazzled in white and purple, embellished as if she was an idol. In addition to signifying Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy, the pictures also symbolize Gatsby’s living in the past. Photographs capture a moment in time that can never be created again. If taken in the same position at the same place, two pictures will differ, even if it’s the most minor and faint aspect, because the past has passed and became the present. The photos of Daisy show that she is in Gatsby’s past and will never be a part of his future, but also indicate Gatsby’s hope that she will be. Further into the movie, Gatsby and Daisy meet again for the first time in years. When Daisy sees him, the shot is framed so that she sees him through a mirror. Rather than meeting face to face, the director chose to frame the scene through a mirror to stress that Gatsby is behind her, and that he is in her past. Once Daisy and Gatsby start spending more time together, a scene takes place in Gatsby’s mansion where the two are sitting in chairs across from each...
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