Juniors Follow a Green Light to a Great Evening


Dan McGlinn


After two months of anticipation, the day finally arrived. The Great Gatsby was released in theaters May 10th, and nearly thirty members of the junior class at Malvern were there to see it. Not only was the film worthwhile, but we were joined by Miss Walsh, recently retired from Malvern after 40 years of teaching and the driving inspiration for our love of Gatsby. It was certainly a memorable occasion for all involved and definitely interesting for those who weren’t.

Those who dress up for movies are often the subject of many jokes. I can say this is my first time dressing up for any movie, and I don’t regret it. There is something about being in a tuxedo or suit that makes you stand a little taller, walk a little cooler, and feel a little better. When you’re surrounded by people dressed in normal movie attire these effects are magnified. Twenty Malvern juniors felt this way (and many othersaround the country did too). Unfortunately there were a few ‘rebels’ in our group who didn’t dress up, but the majority put on their tuxedos and suits and looked great. We all felt that, after reading the book, we owed it to Jay Gatsby to dress up for the occasion.

By 7:30 pm on Friday May 10th the group of nearly thirty Malvern juniors was ready to watch the film. Miss Walsh was in attendance and we had our seats reserved for our group in the packed theater. The movie itself was worth the watch. It surprised me in its accuracy to the book and its costumes. The music in the movie is also great.  Artists include Beyoncé, André 3000, will.i.am, Gotye, Jay Z, Kanye West, and Lana Del Rey. Although the music has been rightfully critiqued as being too modern for the time period of the movie, it helps to draw in a younger audience and connect to the viewers. Personally, I think director Baz Luhrmann did a terrific job of portraying the Roaring 20s and telling the story of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Leonardo DiCaprio was the perfect choice to play Gatsby, he “dresses the part and gives the right parties,” says Miss Walsh, taking the audiences’ breath away when about one quarter of the way through the film we see him for the first time. Fireworks explode in the background.  He wears a small smirk on his face, and an aura that emanates power.

However, there have been complaints. “He doesn’t move us,” noted Miss Walsh.

One of the only unexpected twists was the frame in which the story took place: Nick Caraway (Tobey Maguire) was being treated in a sanitorium. Miss Walsh is not a fan of this addition: “Where did that come from?” Although it adds a complicated twist in the movie, involving a lot of back and forth between time periods.

Hopefully I can speak for everyone when I say we all had a great time. After two months of waiting and planning for the evening, we finally got our chance to experience the glitz of the Roaring 20‘s and The Great Gatsby himself.