Thursday, January 2, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Is A Viciously Honest and Deliciously Comedic Critique of American Business

I had a group of older people leave during my screening of The Wolf of Wall Street. I had kind of counted on this since the film was getting a lot of notoriety for its raucous depictions of unbridled sexual excess and perverse behavior. But, it wasn't one of those scenes they chose to walk out on. It was during a scene where millionaire stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) is giving a speech to his workers in which he tells them that the solution to all their lives' problems is getting rich. Now, while I'm sure that wasn't the definitive reason that group of people left, it was a perfect moment to reflect on the criticisms Martin Scorsese is lobbing at both Belfort's ilk and us as a capitalist society. At the end of this film, not only is Belfort accountable for his crimes, but so are we. It's a scathing and unflinching indictment of everything America's financial power system stands for, which is why I understand it upsetting a lot of people who put their faith (and money) in the hands of criminals.