Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hungry Like A Wolf (Movie Review: The Wolf Of Wall Street)

Out of all the Christmas movies, the one I definitely wanted to see was "The Wolf Of Wall Street."  This is because, of course, I used to work on Wall Street. While I consider it now part of my old life, a lot of it is still swimming in my head, and there's even a part of me which thinks I could still go back and work in that industry. I thought I would find myself lost in this milieu, something I am familiar wit. That said, the movie gets the frat party mentality of a trading desk, an environment I am quite familiar with, having worked with these types for twenty seven years. But, I don't think the movie showed the other side to it. These workers did these to blow off steam, as a way to deal with pressure of working in such a stressful shows non-stop hedonism courtesy of Jordan Belfort, based on his memoir. Frankly, it became tedious for me after a while. The over-the-top sexuality and nudity never felt titillating for me, and its relentlessness made it even more ridiculous. But I guess that is the point. Or is there one? Is this a drama, morality tale, comedy, satire? I have read it noted more than a couple of times that none of Belfort's victims were never shown, as if their faces weren't worth of mention. Clocking in at three hours, Scorsesee could have given them a voice. I think that one of those guy movies, akin to his Goodfellas and Casino. (I can now see a whole generation idolizing Belfort, like Belfort was part of the generation that idolized Gordon gekko) Maybe I was never meant to get this. There's a scene that everyone cites as the best: when Belfort goes on a Qualuude high at a country club, and it elicited non-stop laughs. I felt saddened by it, and even more saddened that I didn't - do not - find it funny. And speaking of, Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort gives a full performance, and that may be part of my problem with the f him, against your better judgement. He made the character more superhuman than human, and while it served the overall tone of the picture, it diminished the character for me. I still think he deserves a nomination, as it's certainly a brave performance. Ultimately, I am giving this movie a marginal thumbs down. I can certainly appreciate it, but it incited all the wrong emotions in me. In a way, I guess you can still say it moved me and made em think, as art does. I just didn't feel good after watching this movie.

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