About a week ago, a few friends and I watched The Wolf of Wall Street. I just went along with them not knowing much about the movie but agreeing to see it because I’ve liked some Scorsese movies and well, Leonardo DiCaprio has been a pretty good actor in recent years. The very first scene in the movie hits you smack bang in the face. Drugs. A lot of it. Still, it’s a movie and I settled back for more.
The movie kept rolling: Sex. Drugs. Sex. More drugs. More nudity. More sex. More drugs. Sexism. Oh and a whole lot of money and narcissism by filthy rich stockbrokers making their millions out of other people’s hard earned cash. I was starting to get a bit revolted despite the odd laughs. No, I’m not a prude. But honestly, there’s only so much boob and cocaine you can take in an hour. And as for the ethics of selling stocks? Well, that was probably even worse. There was also a scene pretty much depicting marital rape and physical abuse. And another candidly mentioning a stockbroker slitting his wrists.
I get it. It’s a satire. Supposedly for us all to think that the protagonist and his cronies are heading down a destructive path while making a buttload of money.
But you know when it stops being a satire and just something in really bad taste?
When you have the actual guy on whom the movie is based make an appearance at the end of the movie.
That is just fucked up.
Jordan Belfort pretty much conned people out of money to make his own millions. Jordan Belfort treated women, including his two wives, like objects. Jordan Belfort and his cronies made money out of other people’s naivety. Jordan Belfort referred to himself as the Wolf of Wall Street despite not having his offices on Wall Street. Jordan Belfort only served 22 months in prison for his crimes. But now, Jordan Belfort has been given a name and a face by Hollywood. One where he is seen like the saviour he appears to think himself as being.
And as for his victims? They don’t get a mention. They don’t get named. They remain faceless.
Through most of the movie, I was unaware that it was based on a true story and was pretty disgusted by the end. Then I found out that it was real and I think I lost it. I felt revolted and empty at the same time. I was in tears as I got home at the injustice of it all. I know the world isn’t fair and that a lot of people get away with crimes. I am not naive enough to assume that everything in life is fair. But don’t make a movie about someone who is a criminal and glorify his deeds as though he is a god. The fact that that someone also makes money out of the movie and books and get this, a motivational speaker is something I fail to comprehend. Michael Pascoe of SMH perfectly articulated my feelings about the movie here.
People like Jordan Belfort deserve to only have their names mentioned in utter disgust.
Have you seen the movie?
What did you think?
***Linking with Jess on a fired up Tuesday for IBOT***
Until next time,