Sunday 2 February 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

I managed to catch a screening, perhaps in my bedroom, but The Wolf of Wall Street glorifies illicit activity ... well sort of. It's about the protagonist (Jordan Belfort) who exploits the poor and desperate illegally by persuading them to invest into unsound companies as a stockbroker with exorbitant commissions, making him incredibly rich.

Actually the movie is about what he does with his riches.

Let's just state that Belfort's illegal business dealings is used as a vehicle throughout the movie which allowed Scorsese/Dicaprio to show Belfort's life like a sort of rich sociopath porn. There wasn't much about the intricacies of his business but I really didn't expect that sort of thing from a Hollywood movie. It made for some queasy watching (thankfully I didn't watch with my family, like originally planned) whether it was misogyny or drug addled self mutilation. I can imagine that for a country like Malaysia, who not so subtlety cuts out all somewhat sexually explicit scenes, they would have compressed down this 3 hour movie to a half hour confusing mess.

I think Wolf of Walls Street achieves something that many other main stream movies fail to do, sympathy for the bad guy. It is said that it's much simpler to label a criminal as guilty rather than to understand them. Coming out of this movie, it's not difficult to empathise with Belfort despite him being a sex crazed, drug addled sociopath responsible for losing clients over 200 million USD. He is very much the scum of the Earth with little regard for anyone apart from himself, yet somehow, the audience can't help but feel for him.

Also is really, really pretty.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I felt the entire journey was incredible. 10/10 would recommend.

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