Great Gatsby Film Analysis Essay
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 other. Daisy stretches out her hand and asks him why he always sits so far away from her. In response, Gatsby reaches his hand out towards her extended arm, but never quite reaches it. Their hands are so close, but never actually touch or come intact with each other because the two are metaphorically so far away from ach other in that their relationship only exists in the past, and not in the future. A few scenes later, Gatsby and Daisy are shown kissing through a pond with an unstable reflection. The water is agitated and quivering endlessly as opposed to still and calm. The murky and unsteady water depicts a sense of “oldness” in Daisy and Gatsby’s relationship. Because the shot is a reflection, it’s as if the moment is false or an imitation, as if they are “reflecting” on a memory in the past. The framing of these scenes denote Gatsby’s stark refusal to accept what he cannot control: the passage of time.
A prominent color in the movie and novel of The Great Gatsby is green. It is the color that represents Gatsby’s hope. For example, the green light across the bay that Gatsby associates Daisy’s house with is a symbol of his destiny with her. Also, Gatsby gives Daisy a ring with a green jewel but because he is her past and she is married now, she tells Gatsby to keep it. As the movie progresses and Daisy and Gatsby spend more and more time together, green became more and more visible. The most prominent scenes of green were a series of cuts.
Daisy and Gatsby sitting between multiple trees cuts to a bird’s eye view of the pair running through a forest, which then cuts to Gatsby’s front lawn where the contrast of the white house made the green grass brilliant. These three quick shots abundant with green was the climax of Gatsby’s hope, certain that he had won Daisy’s heart because of his ignorance in accepting the present. Yet not long after is the scene of Gatsby’s fate which in comparison to these obviously green settings had an apparent blue theme. Blue, a somber color of sorrow and depression, was surrounding Gatsby.
Other than the pool water, Gatsby is lying on a blue raft, and the curtains of which Mr. Wilson are hiding behind are blue, as well as the tiles on Gatsby’s floor. Once things took a turning point, all hope disappeared and anguish flourished because Gatsby’s death not only ended his life but also his hope of ever spending the rest of his future with Daisy. Gatsby couldn’t accept that his dream was dead which ultimately ended in his own death. Gatsby was trapped in the previous events of his life, yearning for the love he once shared so passionately with Daisy, unable to accept that time had continued, and therefore died along with his dream.