|The Great Gatsby is a 2013 romantic drama film. An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel of the same name, the film follows the life and times of millionaire Jay Gatsby and his neighbor Nick, who recounts his encounter with Gatsby at the height of the Roaring Twenties
Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a Yale University graduate and World War I veteran, is a depressed and disillusioned alcoholic staying in a sanatorium for treatment of his alcoholism. He talks about a man named Gatsby, describing him as the most hopeful man he had ever met. When he struggles to articulate his thoughts, his doctor (Jack Thompson) suggests writing it down, since writing is what brings him solace.
In the summer of 1922, Nick moves from the U.S. Midwest to New York, where he takes a job as a bond salesman. He rents a small house on Long Island in the (fictional) village of West Egg, next door to the lavish mansion of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious business magnate who holds extravagant parties. Nick drives across the bay to East Egg for dinner at the home of his cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), and her husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton), a college acquaintance of Nick’s. They introduce Nick to Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki), an attractive, cynical young golfer with whom Daisy wishes to couple Nick.
Jordan reveals to Nick that Tom has a mistress who lives in the “valley of ashes,” an industrial dumping ground between West Egg and New York City. Not long after this revelation, Nick travels with Tom to the valley of ashes, where they stop by a garage owned by George Wilson (Jason Clarke) and his wife, Myrtle (Isla Fisher), who is Tom’s lover that Jordan mentioned. Nick goes with Tom and Myrtle to an apartment that they keep for their affair, where Myrtle throws a vulgar and bizarre party.
As the summer progresses, Nick receives an invitation to one of Gatsby’s parties. Upon arriving, he learns that none of the guests at the party, though there are hundreds, have ever met Gatsby himself, and they have developed multiple theories as to who he is. Even his two most regular guests Mr Klipspringer (Brendan Maclean) and “Owl Eyes” (Max Cullen), who seem to never leave, refuse to know who he is. Nick encounters Jordan, and they meet Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is surprisingly young and rather aloof, in person. Gatsby seems to take a liking to Nick and the two become mutual friends. Their friendship develops after Gatsby takes Nick out to dinner, with his mysterious friend Meyer Wolfshiem (Amitabh Bachchan). Through Jordan, Nick later learns that Gatsby knew Daisy from a romantic encounter in 1917, and is still madly in love with her. He spends many nights staring at the green light at the end of her dock, across the bay from his mansion, hoping to one day rekindle their lost romance. Gatsby’s extravagant lifestyle and wild parties are an attempt to impress Daisy in the hopes that she will one day appear at Gatsby’s doorstep. Gatsby now wants Nick to arrange a reunion between himself and Daisy. Nick invites Daisy to have tea at his house, without telling her that Gatsby will be there also.
After an initially awkward reunion, Gatsby and Daisy reconnect, and they begin an affair. Shortly after, Daisy and Tom attend one of Gatsby’s parties, where Tom grows increasingly suspicious of his wife’s relationship with Gatsby. Throughout a luncheon at the Buchanans’ house, Gatsby stares at Daisy with such undisguised passion that Tom realizes Gatsby is in love with her. Though Tom himself is involved in an extramarital affair, he is deeply outraged by his wife’s infidelity. He forces the group to drive into New York City, where he confronts Gatsby in a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Tom asserts that he and Daisy have a history that Gatsby could never understand, and he announces to his wife that Gatsby is a criminal whose fortune comes from bootlegging alcohol and other illegal activities. This pushes Gatsby to his breaking point, and he has an explosive outburst of anger, much to his own dismay. After this incident, Daisy realizes that her allegiance is to Tom, who contemptuously sends her back to East Egg with Gatsby, attempting to prove that Gatsby cannot hurt him.
When Nick, Jordan, and Tom drive through the valley of ashes, however, they discover that Gatsby’s car has struck and killed Myrtle, Tom’s lover. They rush back to Long Island, where Nick learns from Gatsby that Daisy, wanting to calm her nerves, had been driving the car at the time of the accident. However, Gatsby intends to take the blame. Despite the events that occurred at the Plaza, Gatsby is convinced that Daisy will call him the next day. That night, he reveals to Nick that he was born penniless, and his real name is James Gatz. In the morning, Nick leaves for work while Gatsby decides to go for a swim before his pool is drained for the season. He asks for the telephone to be brought down to the pool, still waiting for Daisy to call. The night before, Tom tells Myrtle’s husband, George, that Gatsby was the driver of the car. George jumps to the conclusion that Gatsby had also been Myrtle’s lover, and he retrieves a gun. Back at the mansion, Gatsby hears the phone ring, and believes it to be Daisy. As he is climbing out of the pool while looking hopefully across the bay at Daisy’s mansion, he is abruptly shot and killed by George, who immediately turns the gun on himself. It is revealed that it is Nick on the phone, and he hears the two gunshots.
When Nick calls the Buchanans to invite Daisy to Gatsby’s funeral, he learns that she, Tom, and their daughter are leaving New York. Only the press, whom Nick chases out, attend the funeral. The media accuse Gatsby of being both the murderer and lover of Myrtle, leaving Nick as the only one who knows the truth. Evidently disillusioned with his fascination for the East Coast, he soon moves back to the Midwest to escape the disgust he feels for the people surrounding Gatsby’s life, as well as the moral decay and emptiness of the wealthy of the East Coast. Back in the sanatorium, Nick finishes his memoir and titles it, “The Great Gatsby.”