“The Great Gatsby” (2013) has now been filmed four times as a motion picture & once for television. It is based on the 1925 novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. My favorite version has always been the 1949 black & white film starring Alan Ladd as Jay Gatsby. This recent version stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby & it is a beautiful, lavish movie shot in 3-D. It also follows the novel closely which I have read countless times. It captures the 1920's decade filled with desperate, sad & lonely individuals caught up in the dreams that money can't buy.
The story is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) who talks about a man named Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Nick has come to admire Jay who has an abundance of hope for the future. Jay throws these lavish parties at his mansion which sits across the river bay from where Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) lives. He does this so that maybe she will finally attend a party.
Daisy & Jay fell in love just when he went into the War. He believed she would wait for him. She married Tom Buchanan & they had a daughter. The Buchanan house sits on the East Egg of Long Island where a dock-light shines brightly each night. Jay's house sits on the West Egg of Long Island where we see him staring back at that dock-light. Tom believes his money is old tradition, while the West Egg is brand new money during the “Roaring 1920's.”
Tom is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson who is married to a simple gas station owner named George. Daisy knows about the affair & Nick is informed about it as well. There is a billboard sitting near the gas station. The advertisement drawing is of a pair of “eye glasses” that seem to be watching everyone who stops at this station.
Nick meets Jay at one of his parties & is drawn into his life. Jay asks Nick to arrange a meeting with Daisy. When they meet their love for each other comes back to life. Jay makes everyone believe that he earned his money through hard work. He was dirt poor all his life & believed that if he was rich he could buy back Daisy's love. She married Tom for his money, but says she grew to love him. Now that Jay is back he asks Daisy to tell Tom she always loved him instead.
Tom checked Jay's background & reveals to Daisy that Jay gets his money illegally. Jay admits his life isn't what it seems, but still asks Daisy to tell Tom she doesn't love him anymore. Daisy & Jay jump into his yellow car to talk. Tom & Nick jump into another car. Daisy is driving fast toward that gas station & hits Myrtle on the road killing her. She thought Tom was in that car & ran out to stop him. Tom sees that he lost his mistress & might lose Daisy too. He convinces a distraught George that the yellow car belonged to Jay Gatsby.
Tom convinces Daisy to go away with him. George gets a hold of a gun & walks to Jay's mansion. Nick tells Jay that he deserves better than what he wants. Jay waits for Daisy to call, but she never does. - The questions remain, did Daisy ever love Jay? And if she truly loved him why didn't she wait for him? Did she just want any man's money for security? And was Jay just a fool for love?