Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Well it's been a long time between drinks once more, but I saw another film that I just couldn't shake, so here's a notion.

Dazzling, uncompromising, precise; almost painful in its heights of humour and attack. This movie strikes at the world in a way that cannot be shaken, and attacks a whole 'type' of movie in a way that will not be equalled.

Scene after exquisite scene, performance after incredible performance, act after deplorable act; The Wolf of Wall Street is a brutal, stinging indictment on crimes unpunished and men unscathed. An expedition into their world of pixie dust and nothingness where characters grasp at whatever straws they can, trying to convince themselves that it is real. His own moniker, coined in an article he despised (and by all accounts should have been the wake up call society needed to call humbug on this whole charade) is adopted by Jordan and co. as a term of endearment and admiration.

The futility and the absurdity of their quest for material existence (ranging from drugs to dominatrixes) is at once hilarious and disturbing. We realise that to have 'everything' at a fingers reach, can mean having absolutely nothing to hold.

The final sequence is a more piercing challenge to the moments in our lives when I covet the lifestyle of these types of men, (their stuff, their money, etc.) than any person yelling through a megaphone at a rally could ever muster. A stark reminder that all which glitters is not golden, and they are there because they are standing on a pile of other people's hurt.  

It is the best thing Scorsese has done in some time, the best thing DiCaprio has done, period.

Now, this film is going to receive a lot of heat - when A Clockwork Orange came out their were copycat crimes, some guy shot up a cinema because of The Dark Knight, John Lennon's dead and Catcher in the Rye had something to do with it, a young man, I overheard leaving our cinema remarked (hopefully ironically) "well I guess the message is become a stockbroker" - but as I argued with Zero Dark Thirty and will argue once again: representation is not endorsement (it may have actually been Bigelow who said that but whatever).
Basically, Julien Faddoul said what I want to say:

"Almost six years after a horrific economic collapse in 2008 caused by massive fraud, almost all the financial executives responsible have walked away with their personal fortunes intact. None of the debaucherous, disgusting situations depicted in The Wolf of Wall Street are as infuriating as that simple fact. And as the film concludes (with a similar outcome), Scorsese produces a final shot that explains why. Scorsese shows us, essentially, a mirror image and after the glee this 3-hour sales pitch has given us, we are left with nothing but the bitter truth."

Find the rest of his review here:

This movie is not for all people, but it is certainly for our time.

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