The 1920’s was a time of material excess and luxurious indulgence. The social and politic atmosphere was changing at a rapid rate and the old world that had come before was nearing its end. F. Scott Fitzgerald encapsulated this era in his 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby. Many adaptions of the work exist, but Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 production remains the most faithful to the source material and is a successful adaptation of the work. Luhrmann successfully conveys the importance of symbols, while also retaining the major theme of the work in his direction and successfully recreating the 1920’s era with all of Fitzgerald’s intentions.
Baz Luhrmann’s portrayal of the 1920’s setting is a successful adaption of its depiction in the novel. Fitzgerald uses setting to help the audience appreciate the landscape of the novel as a whole. The novel depicts Gatsby as famous for his parties and Fitzgerald’s description of them improves our understanding of this time.
“The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.” (Pg. 42) [CITATION FSc25 l 3081 ]
We begin to see a society that likes to enjoy itself with alcohol and casually break the law, as alcohol was illegal during the era of Prohibition. Luhrmann captures the lavishness and beautiful chaos of the parties through his use of wide long shots of the party and its attendees which help to create and establish the party atmosphere. Quick editing helps to create a fast paced tone and chaotic atmosphere, while the use of Will.i.Am’s “Bang, Bang” helps the modern audience understand the euphoric madness of the party [ CITATION Baz13 l 3081 ]. Similarly, bright and vibrant colours seen on the costumes of the attendees are used to great effect …