Do Film Critics Read the Books?

I was reading this month’s copy of Entertainment Weekly and came across an article on the much delayed but highly anticipated film, The Great Gatsby. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the film is an adaptation on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, a critique of the American Dream in the 1920’s that follows the main character Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he becomes enveloped in the lives of the elite upper class of Long Island.

If you want to know more, go read the book, and then watch the movie, as I did. When I read the aforementioned article I had to wonder if other critics read the book as well, or at least recently since many people have to read it in High School. The reason being was, when I came upon this line; “And Mulligan’s poor little rich girl Daisy isn’t given a lot to do besides pout, swoon, and grouse about the heat. You never understand why Gatsby would be so obsessed with her” (Nashawaty) I had to laugh.

Now the article was very well written and a great critique of the movie itself. I agree that much of it was overly dramatic, i.e. “blast your retinas into sugar-shock submission” (Nashawaty), but one cannot bash Carey Mulligan’s portrayal of Daisy Buchanan. People who have read the book would know that she is meant to be a character without much depth, another superfluous, rich girl from Kentucky. All she does in the book is basically “pout, swoon, and grouse about the heat”! For the character she was supposed to be, I think she did a great job, even if we can’t fathom why Gatsby would be in love with her.

I found the same thing again in a review by People Magazine. Spreading like wild fire across the internet is a quote from their review of The Great Gatsby which says “DiCaprio and Mulligan, meanwhile, don’t seem like star-crossed lovers so much as a delusional man in love with a bauble of a woman. Maybe that’s intentional?” The best way to describe this is with the following image.


The movie and its actors were great. You aren’t supposed to feel connected to them, it’s the whole point of their lavish facade. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made” (Fitzgerald). There was never meant to be any substance to these people.

I hope before people go into further bashing of this movie that they at least read the book so they actually understand what they are talking about.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. allydavis2013
    Jun 04, 2013 @ 15:59:55

    Hi! We really love your blog and would like to extend an invitation to guest blog for our site


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