Wall Street, what a shithole. Where shitheads make money out of the uneducated masses. This industry has been allowed to thrive by the sole purpose of greed. They bend the goal posts to suit themselves. The Gamestop fiasco only showed how hypocritical these asshats really are. They believe only them can make money at the expense of others. Why should they think otherwise? They were never punished for it. 2008, the Wall Streets assholes played around with subprime bonds and caused the economy of the entire world to collapse, measured by decrease in per capita United States GDP compared to the pre-crisis trend, by 2016 the crisis had cost the country 15% of GDP, or $4.6 trillion and U.S. employers shed 2.6 million jobs in 2008. What is the cost of the catastrophe for the Bankers? One guy has been in jail in the US for 30 months. That’s it. This uncontrolled greed is left to magnify and expand in the financial industry and The Wolf of Wall Street is the best showcase of this greed.
Ironically, a movie about shady financial industries men is paid by a corrupt and shady man working in the financial industry. The movie was said to be financed by the money stolen from the 1Malaysian Development Berhad - an insolvent Malaysian strategic development company, wholly owned by the Malaysian Minister of Finance. In another term, this movie is actually financed by the Malaysian tax payer. This is a better ironic joke than any comedian could write. A movie whose theme is to condemn the greed and lust in Wall Street and financed by those same people, whose deeds are even worse. It is almost the same as the irony of Cyberpunk 2077, which condemns corporate greed and exploitation while committing these acts themselves. Not as funny though.
Wolf of Wall Street is a lot aside from the drugs, sex and swear. There are a lot of drug scenes in this movie. I saw more drugs in this movie than I saw in five seasons of Breaking Bad, whose theme is narcotics. Remember, this was the king in the use of the fuck in non-documentery movies(It was surpassed by Swearnet: The Movie, a flim seemingly made to just get the record.) Those things may shield the perspective a lot of people have on this movie, it is just a glorified pornography of rich people. No, it isn’t, that title belongs to Fifty Shades of Grey.
There is actual substance behind the profanities.
The Wolf of Wall Street follows Wall Street broker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and the rise of his stock trading company, Stratton Oakmont. From being a rookie stock trader who lost his job during the Black Friday, to being an immensely successful stock broker with the moniker of “ The Wolf of Wall Street”. He owns several sports cars, has a luxurious mansion on Long Island, millions and millions of illegally earned cash and married a beautiful wife, what’s not to love? He is also dependent on varying substances, frequently intoxicated and has an entire team at the SEC and the FBI breathing down his neck, hoping to find any little thing he did wrong to prosecute him. Not so good after all.
Martin Scorsese is a master of deciphering lifestyle that looks glamorous on the outside. Casino exposed the facade glory that is the life of a Casino Boss. Goodfellas told the audience the life of the mafia did not mostly consist of excitement and thrill, instead, it only had betrayal and paranoia. The Irishman shows how little the mafia life really mattered? Everyone just gets forgotten after their age. People as influential as Jimmy Hoffa just got forgotten during the long walks of time. Scorsese is the master of deconstructing seemingly perfect and lovely lifestyles. And the Wolf of Wall Street is no exception.
The Wolf of Wall Street was accused of glorifying the life of Jordan Belfort. Variety journalist Whitney Friedlander describes the film as "still three hours of cash, drugs, hookers, repeat". Friedlander argues that the film is a "celebration of this lifestyle" and preaches that short lived extreme wealth and extraordinary experiences are superior to a societally normal behavior. Christina McDowell, whose father, Tom Prousalis, worked in association with Jordan Belfort, accused the filmmakers of "exacerbating our national obsession with wealth and status and glorifying greed and psychopathic behavior." I respectfully disagree with their opinion. A lot of people relate media to real world events. Remember the controversy surrounding Grand Theft Auto 4? The endless debates on the depiction of violence, drunk driving and sex and nudity. This crusade led by disgraced lawyer Jack Thompson to censor or even cancel the game’s release was ultimately unsuccessful, with no solid evidence with the violence and other negative value shown in media transpiring in real world events. The people who most likely affected by these media are children, however children should not be able to consume such fiction. The Wolf of Wall Street was rated R for “sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout, and for some violence”, and parents are not recommended to allow their children to watch the movie. Grand Theft Auto 4 was rated for mature (17+) viewers only, for “Blood, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol”. Children with good parenting should not in most circumstances be able to consume such media. If in a small chance, children are affected by such media and become materialistic or desensitized with violence after consuming the media, the creators of these adult themed media are not to blame and are not the root cause of the issue, the main cause is irresponsible parenting. If you are an adult and are easily swayed by media tropes to become a nuisance to society, then maybe you need to think more of your media consumption.
For the glorification for Jordan Belfort’s lifestyle, I can just say anyone who unironically say this either did not watch the movie or they are incredibly dumb. Protagonist of a fiction is not always a hero, and sometimes viewers are not supposed to agree or even follow their viewpoints. Protagonists only means that the story is told from their viewpoint. You can emphasize with them, sure, but you are not supposed to agree and idolize them. Walter White from Breaking Bad, Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, Tyler Durden from Fight Club and Arthur Fleck from Joker are good examples. Their behaviour is not morally acceptable and their respective fiction shows the consequences clearly. The Wolf of Wall Street did that as well. When you see Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill crawling on the ground, like they are having a brain epilepsy and smiling like 2 year old children, when you see everyone leaving Jordan Belfort, a sane person will not idolize him. What you see is a greedy asshat getting what he deserves. Audiences should not and will not idolize this man. No matter how much excuse he gave himself acting as some sort of Robin Hood figure, taking money from the rich and giving to himself, his actions were illegal and highly immoral. He manipulated the market and used his company and influence to make money for his partner and himself. He tried to launder money in order to distract the authorities' pursuit of his crimes. Belfort was a notorious figure and his reputation did not increase. Belfort was not portrayed in a positive light in the Wolf of Wall Street, not at all. Even the real Belfort said so himself. He also analyzes the major inaccuracies regarding the film's oversimplification of Stratton Oakmont's gradual transition from advocating for "speculative stocks" in order to "help build America" to increasingly senseless and greedy crimes. During the interview, Belfort expresses that he "didn't like hearing" overly simplified and blunt depictions of his crimes because "it made me look like I was just trying to rip people off". The Wolf of Wall Street did not try to find an excuse for the wolf, it shows how the wolf lived and how pathetic it really was.
Let’s talk about something lighter toned for a break. The Wolf of Wall Street is easily the most humorous Scorsese movie. I was off a binge of Scorsese movies, from Goodfellas to Casino to The Irishman, when I first saw The Wolf of Wall Street, and that’s when I realized how different the tone of The Wolf of Wall Street is. Goodfellas had a brutal first half and the second half is filled to the brim with paranoia, as Henry was not only under the influence of substances, but he was being hunted by the authorities. Casino is filled with brutality, violence and betrayal, with the thriller characteristic being very apparent in the second half. The Irishman is the most serious one and also the saddest one, confronting viewers with the meaning of life and the things we left behind post death. When compared to them, The Wolf of Wall Street is a breath of fresh air, well at least as fresh as “three hours of cash, drugs, hookers, repeat” (an incredibly dumb statement, you can dumb down anything to its most basic level, and it will sound ridiculous) can be. The airplane scene is one of comedy perfection. Belfort and his partner Donnie Azoff had a bunch of quaaludes, which can be used as a sedative and treat insomnia, therefore, both of them are insanely sleepy and horny. When they board the plane to Switzerland to meet with a Swiss banker, they refuse to cooperate with flight personnel, and Belfort attempted to hump and have sex with the flight attendant. As they are in the first class, the pilot chooses not to throw them off the plane. Instead, they tie Belfort up to restrain him. This scene is one of the most hilarious scenes I have ever seen, because of the sheer absurdity of it. Two Wall Street suits going apeshit on an airplane are something you don’t see very often. Also the timing and presentation of the jokes are incredibly well as well. When Belfort founds he called the captain the N word, the facial expression and the delivery of the dialogue is really good, the shock and realization that he might have a drug problem was done really well.
This leads swiftly into the next topic I would like to talk about, the acting. Scorsese movies often breed excellent performances. Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, Sharon Stone in Casino, Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York, Al Pacino in The Irishman and so on. The Wolf of Wall Street is no exception. Leonardo DiCaprio delivers his career best performance by far. He is phenomenal in the movie. He can nail the more dramatic scene like the one he realizes his sin after his yacht was destroyed by huge waves and then the plane sent to rescue him broke its engine by a bird. He knew what he did and decided to go sober. He delivered the emotional impact perfectly and the comedy scene as well. There are a lot of comic relief in the movie and none of them felt annoying. Jonah Hill balances the line of insufferably annoying and hilarious sidekicks. And there’s Margot Robbie, in a breakout performance for the ages, giving the seemingly shallow “mobster wife” trope a lot of personality and depth. The supporting characters are very well done as well. Performance wise, The Wolf of Wall Street is nearly flawless.
The Wolf of Wall Street is set in the 80s. However, the illegal tactics used by the wolf is still prevalent in the stock market. The lies used by these stock brokers caused the economic collapse in 2008. Only the working class paid the price for this disaster, the brokers and various financial institutions received bail out from the government. In fact,the maximum cost of a $700 billion bailout would be $2,295 estimated cost per American (based on an estimate of 305 million Americans), or $4,635 per working American (based on an estimate of 151 million in the workforce). The people paid the price for the failure of those above us. As the gamestop fiasco came to a close, where the people lost against the hierarchy through illegitimate means of market manipulation. Does the stock market belong to the people? Should we still trust the stock market? The answer is a firm no. As like gambling, the house always wins. Anything, any action that would damage their interest, they will obstruct it to make sure they will gain everything. We just have to live with it, I guess. When you invest in the market, please remember, we are the sheeps surrounded by Wolves and there is no shepherd to save us.ns220.127.116.11da2