My Epiphany on “The Great Gatsby”

When I first saw the 2013 film “The Great Gatsby”, I left the theatre with many things on my mind. I was stunned due to its incredible visual beauty and the spectacular acting talents of Leonardo DiCaprio and Adelaide Clemens. On the other hand, I was also slightly confused. The use of exaggerated visuals and music that did not match that of the 1920s made this a slightly confusing experience. Many others agreed with me, they thought that for a movie that was based in the early 20th century, it was way too exaggerated visually.

However, I thought to myself that such professional film makers could not make a mistake as big as that. There had to be a meaning behind it. Then, the light bulb came on.

I realized that the whole story told in Gatsby is narrated in past tense by Tobey Maguire’s character, Nick Carraway. What does this mean? This means that most of the film is nothing more than a memory. That is where it all makes sense. From a psychological standpoint, the exaggeration of all of the events that occur during the film is completely viable. It is no mystery that the memory of an event can be a distorted version of what actually happened. Taking into account that Carraway was mentally unstable while narrating his story to a psychiatrist, it is perfectly possible that all the details of what had happened were exaggerated.

When looking back at the film, I also noticed that the scenes when he is in the psychiatric office, everything looks very plain and normal and void of any exaggeration seen throughout most of the movie, which shows that the events narrated by Carraway are actually exaggerated.

Anyone who has seen this film should go back and watch it to understand this, and thus understand this film to a much higher degree.

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