Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Great Gatsby

      The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the most beloved books in American literature and happens to be one of my favorites. When I found out there was going to be a modern film adaptation of the book, I was thrilled. And after seeing the trailer, I am completely sold on this movie and can’t wait to go see it. The trailer starts with a narrator voice that viewers later learn is a major protagonist. While he talks, images of old New York are flashed on screen as well as dancing girls in flapper dresses at a party. The juxtaposition of New York City in the 1920s and music from Kanye West immediately got my attention. The opening line perfectly sets the tone for the trailer by giving a little taste of what’s to come in the movie: “New York, 1922, the tempo of this city had changed sharply; the buildings were taller, the parties were bigger, the morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper.” This is the first reason the trailer made me believe the target audience excluded children and preteens. As the trailer continued, there was drinking, partying, sexual scenes and violence. The target audience seems to be for people from the age of 18-45. Most of the actors/actresses fall between that age group, which allowed me to feel like I could relate to these characters even though they lived in the 1920s. The movie is not yet rated but it will definitely require at least a PG13 rating. Thus making me decide to give this trailer two out of three tickets on the rating scale. The trailer gave me the impression that The Great Gatsby is going to be categorized in the drama genre. The way the trailer is set up insinuates that in the beginning the character’s lives were perfect and fun, yet when I go see the movie I should be ready for some unexpected twists and turns.

The presence of ethos was evident throughout the trailer. When I played the trailer, the first thing I saw was the logo of the production company, Warner Brothers Pictures. This let me know this film is not only well produced but most likely it is well-directed and well cast. Then the names Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan flashed on the screen, and I knew immediately this movie is worth watching. When the trailer also revealed that the director is Bez Luhrmann (director of Romeo & Juliet, and Moulin Rouge) I knew the movie was going to find a way to interest me and make me feel emotionally involved the lives of the characters. As Lunsford says in Everything’s an Argument, “We tend to accept arguments from those who we trust, and we trust them in good part because of their reputations” (Lunsford 45). Because the casting, producing, and directing is all at the hands of some of the best in the business, I am more inclined to believe that this movie will not at all be a “let down.” The all-star crew also appeals to logos. If the book was great and the people making the movie are great, then logically this movie must be great right?

The music selection in the trailer alluded to pathos and warned me that my emotions will be stirred when I go see the film. Two songs were used in the trailer that I think perfectly explain how the movie might progress. Lunsford defines the ideal use of pathos in Everything’s an Argument stating, “emotional appeals are powerful tools for influencing what people think and believe” (Lunsford 30). The first song used is “No Church in The Wild” by Kanye West and the second is “Love is Blinding” by Jack White. The first song suggests that Gatsby’s life was wild in the beginning, which is confirmed by the series of lavish party scenes shown. The music stops to focus in on a conversation between Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. Shortly after follows flashing dramatic scenes of violence, luxury and love while the second song “Love is Blinding” is playing in the background. The choice of song isn’t coincidental; the trailer is trying to play with viewer’s emotions by letting them know things are not going to end up as perfectly as it seemed in the beginning of the trailer. Not only does this make for a good movie, but it will also bring people to the theaters. As I watched the trailer, I felt like I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. This trailer left me wondering how in the world am I going to be able to wait until May 10, 2013 to see this movie?

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