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Comparative Study of The Films Life of Pi and The Great Gatsby

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Life of Pi and The Great Gatsby are both superb pieces of literature which can be exactly said with each of their respected films which embody each of the themes of the book with superb visual presentation in their use of colour scheme to the use of clothing which gives the main characters situations more meaning.

The directors of both the films have presented their respected films in a superb manner reason being that each of the directors understood the themes in each of the books with Life of Pi’s main themes of religion, great storytelling and with its sub-themes being loss of innocents, isolation and being an alpha male with The Great Gatsby themes of the American dream, dishonesty, violence, morality and the class division of the rich and poor with all these themes being incorporated in the films. Life of Pi’s storytelling theme is given in a breath-taking presentation by giving the film a great deal of thought when it came to the colour scheme presenting mainly bright warm colours unknown for bringing depth into the characters emotions and making the viewers be in a state of being in the movie.

Life of Pi has elements of real-life scenario’s, Pi who is left at sea due to the tsimtsum ship sinking this has some believability and with his love of God also holding true but with the films consistent use of illusions we and Pi witness this element contradicts itself for example Pi and Richard Parker looking down at the sea at night with a close up shot of Pi in amazement of what he is seeing and the camera panning towards Richard Parker while maintaining the close up shot with Richard Parker expressing the same emotions as Pi, this makes us think of whether or not Pi and Richard Parker are one and that Richard Parker is his animal instinct with these continuous illusions you start to ask yourself is this real or not with a close up shot directed at Richard Parker and zooms out into a long shot with an octopus wrapping its tentacles onto a fish which turns into a bunch of different animals after that a anglerfish known for using illusions to capture its prey showing us Pi’s decaying mind.

The contribution of isolation being emphasised with long shots of Pi standing on top of the tarpaulin looking around his surroundings filled nothing but see around him affecting his mental state, being an alpha male emphasized when Pi tried to tame Richard Parker he would stand on top of the tarpaulin with Richard Parker below with long shots being used then a zoom in shot into a close up showing Pi’s strong facial expression and with loss of innocents when Pi started killing living things for food with a close up shot used to show him crying the first he killed an animal tying up with the theme survival from being a vegetarian to a meat eater.

Religion wasn’t really utilized as much mainly covering Pi’s adolescents where he performed prayer’s wearing religious clothing shot with a medium shot with a few religious epiphanies on the life shot close up and a few religious dances shot with a long shot. Unlike Life of Pi’s warm colour scheme The Great Gatsby decided to go for a bright cool colour scheme to show the life lived in the Roaring twenties and the life lived when following the American dream.

The American dream mainly focused on Gatsby’s success from him being a kid born in a poor family living in a shake with dull cool colours used with a close up of Gatsby looking into the night sky showing he wanted the American dream with him soon living home fading away shown in a long shot to do so with him now living in a mansion with long shots taken to emphasis the size.

Class division with only the valley of ashes shown in a long shot being different with it being dull and lifeless and the people themselves being so with Wilson shown in dirty clothes and covered with oil shot mainly with a medium shot with the West and East egg being bright and lively with these backgrounds leading the characters moral compass, this being violence shown with the men’s careless driving with the director using tilting shots to capture the men breaking the rules of the road this shows that the rich can do whatever they want because they can pay for it showing a decay in morality.

In conclusion both films having incorporated all the themes shown in different shots and camera angles capturing the essences of the characters emotions and facial expressions to the colour scheme and lighting adding to the characters emotions. 

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Comparative Study Of The Films Life Of Pi And The Great Gatsby. (2021, November 22). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from
“Comparative Study Of The Films Life Of Pi And The Great Gatsby.” GradesFixer, 22 Nov. 2021,
Comparative Study Of The Films Life Of Pi And The Great Gatsby. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Sept. 2022].
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