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How Does Baz Luhrmann Use Techniques to Display the Themes of Greed, Love, Corruption in the Great Gatsby?

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How does Baz Luhrmann use techniques to display the themes of greed, love, corruption in The Great Gatsby?

The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann, the themes of greed, love and corruption were shown through the use of his techniques. Baz Luhrmann uses camera techniques, prop and soundtrack to develop the idea of greed, camera techniques, soundtrack and color to develop the idea of love; furthermore, he uses camera techniques, lighting and symbolism to display the theme of corruption. The Great Gatsby is one of those beautiful stories one finishes wondering whether the main character should be loved or hated.  This film is targeted at a mature audience as it depicts tremendous  glamour, illegitimate booze and allure the characters to scream, to be imbued with, and to simply glow with the recurring themes of greed, love and corruption in fashionable mid-1920’s New York.

The theme of greed is most overtly displayed through the use of Baz Luhrmann’s camera techniques, props and music chosen. This is shown in both the Gatsby’s colossal parties and Tom’s private party in the flat he bought for his mistress.  The camera techniques incorporated by Baz Luhrmann efficiently captured the zeal and flashing lights of lavish parties thrown by Gatsby. The rather bold decision to incorporate modern day rap and pop numbers to the dance of flappers with short wiggling dresses and chin-length hair creates an effect of a high-class environment, immediate serves to make their wealthy status stand out; furthermore, people who dress as gangsters, police, actors engrossed in the party flawlessly also portrayed the theme of greed.  As far as Gatsby himself, there is not a better display of vanity and pretense than the shot of the man at the window with a glass of wine in his hand, overlooking the herd below him like King Solomon from the top of his palace. Tom, on the other hand, tries to entertain guests, considerably more garishly than the former but with the same portrait of waste and excess. Though less ostentatious in an uptown apartment, the dizzying portrayal from Nick’s lightheaded perspective does not fail to illustrate the wallet size of New York’s elite. Through the use of camera techniques, props and the music chosen, Baz Luhrmann has successfully displayed the theme of greed in both Gatsby’s colossal parties and Tom’s private party.

With the use of camera techniques, soundtrack and color, Baz Luhrmann has wonderfully depicted the theme of love in The Great Gatsby. The camera zooms across the bay showing the space between the Gatsby’s home and Tom’s home, as well reaching towards the glowing green light is a great representation of Gatsby’s hope for future with Daisy. The changing color palette and camera angles adopted by Baz Luhrmann is to describe intense love between Gatsby and Daisy half a decade ago and to captured those love moments within are incredible. The soundtrack by Lana Del Ray, “Young and beautiful”  paired with visual effects adds beautifully to the theme of love. The camera zooms and the light setting certainly captured the beauty of Daisy’s sharp intake of breath as she spins around with an attractive pair of eyes surrounded by soft pink orchids and a dewy scenery behind her is only topped by the longing in Gatsby’s expression.  The dull color incorporated by Baz Luhrmann in the flashback to their first few meetings in a car with Gatsby’s innocent looks of love, to the scene at Daisy’s wedding in which she flings a priceless pearl necklace which shatters into pieces, the emotions created by the scattered jewels rolling across a linoleum floor are vivid and touching. Thus, through the use of camera techniques, soundtrack and color, Baz Luhrmann has successfully displayed the theme of love in The Great Gatsby.

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