There are a number of bloggers who share my interest in film adaptations, and we all – not surprisingly – have very different opinions on the films that cut the mustard and the films that fall flat.
Reviewing books and films is a very subjective process. There is no right and wrong when translating a story from one medium to another – so assessments of success largely come down to the personal opinions of each reviewer.
No film has so divided the film vs. book crowd as much as The Great Gatsby.
Fitzgerald and Luhrmann unite and divide in equal measure. Each has their share of passionate fans and harsh critics.
Here is just a quick run-down of some of the varying opinions of us blog-based adaptation critics:
@kizzylark from ‘Half Sweet, Half Salty - Movie Reviews for Movie Lovers’ said:
“Baz Luhrmann is a wonderful director of some genius, who has a certain style, it may not be to everyone's taste, but it is perfect, perfect for The Great Gatsby… Much has been made of the fact that the film is too over the top. Well, yes it is, in the parts that it's supposed to be.”
@kateinkew from ‘Books are my favourite and best’ said:
“Perfection down to the very last sequin… I’m not even going to attempt a book versus film comparison because it’s all bloody brilliant. I love the book. I love Baz Luhmann’s interpretation.”
@curiousnessa from curiousnessa said:
“Reading 'The Great Gatsby' just made me feel like I was drowning. Everything in the book felt like it was supposed to be a symbol for something else… honestly I felt that the movie was a lot better than the book – at least, it was in terms of conveying a clear message.”
@DrHasslein from Cinematic Randomness said:
“I've always felt Luhrmann's work to be all style and no substance and I went into The Great Gatsby expecting pretty much the same… It's not a great film but one well worth seeing. But I must say as much as I did enjoy the film, it left me feeling very sad and with a reminder of the grim reality that people can be really horrible.”
@LifeVsFilm of Life vs Film said:
“I was thoroughly disappointed with the film, mostly because I’d read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel last year in preparation for the film, and really rather enjoyed it.”
@filmvsbook wrote in Novelicious:
“As adaptations go, this may well be one of the most faithful book to film conversions ever made, with some of it incredibly literal. If lines are already in your head from the novel, you are likely to recognise many of them in the film.”
@BrukDiana on Examiner.com said:
“The film is staunchly faithful to the book in both plot and dialogue, and it manages to flesh out the themes of class difference more so than the book, even though there's a little character development that's lost along the way.”