The movie starts as it does the book, with the same words that F.Scott Fitzgerald wrote in the beginning of The Great Gatsby.
Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) keeps his low profile as it does in the novel. He is an observer of all the actions around him, but he does nothing; so he is the narrator of another person story, Jay Gatsby’s story ( Leonardo DiCaprio). In the movie it seems, though, that everything is a flashback that Carraway does every day in different moments. This fact, though, does not appear in the book. In fact, Baz Luhrman uses Nick as a narrator from a different point of view of Fitzgerald’s narrator.
The director of Moulin Rouge shows us a crazy Carraway in a shelter as if the roaring twenties and the non-love story between his Jay Gatsby and Daisy had been the cause of his craziness. The rest of the film is similar to the book and Luhrman emphasizes two aspects. The first one is the roaring twenties. This decade was, precisely, one of the causes that made Francis Scott Fitzgerald earn the fame that nowadays he still has. Fitzgerald does a portrait of the twenties, and Luhrman does the same but in a modern way, without losing the essence of that lonely, crazy and mysterious decade.
The second aspect I want to comment is the relationship between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchannan. The story that it is explained in both the novel and the film, is a truly beautiful love story. A man that does everything, absolutely everything, to conquer, for the second time, a women. However, when he has her, he does notice that she is not capable to break with the established, like she did before, and be happy. This tragic ending of the film is wonderful because the director uses the last words that Fitzgerald wrote and shows the green light that had been so near but that ends very far.
A metaphor of both, writer and director, maybe, of that big light that seemed to shine in the USA and all around the world during the twenties. A war had ended, but Fitzgerald, as if he was a visionary, already warned the society of its time that everything isn't exactly what it seems.