‘The Wolf on Wall Street’ is Thought Provoking If You Let It Be

On high quality journalist websites like msn and yahoo I started to see a few weeks ago write ups of Scorsese’s new film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’ I saw highlighted in the headliners words like controversial and excess.  For me I decided I had to see it. In a country where everything is out in the open I thought how can anything be controversial.  One of my older facebook friends posted that he and his wife walked out within thirty minutes because of the excess and gluttony. After watching it on my vacation I do agree it is pushing some boundaries and years ago it might have gotten that weird NC-17 rating. In this entry instead of a straightforward review I’m going to explain a few reasons why it’s pissing people off, but also why it’s a good freaking film.

In 2014 everyone gets a hug, and differences in people are accepted more than ever before.  Overall I think the politically correct environment is a positive thing. People should not have to be subjected to bullying and abusive talk from his or her peers. A lot of people reminisce about the late 1980’s as if it was a good time. Granted I was in middle school, and perhaps at an awkward age anyway, but people were jerks to each other. I remember being with groups of kids my age at the mall, and all the group would do was make fun of people walking by for the way they looked. To me there was a mentality to gang up on the weak. Watching ‘The Wolf on Wall Street’ I think it was the whole time period, not just my middle school in Baltimore County.

To me the honesty of how cutthroat the 1980’s were is hard to accept with today’s expectations of how people treat each other. An interesting parallel to this movie would be how the Wall Street dudes that cashed in before the 2008 crash acted in their excess. My guess the Wall Street dudes of the 2000’s had their drugs and whores behind closed doors, and not while on the clock.  In the 2000’s and today every firm has a sexual harassment policy. That’s a good thing, and I think this movie showing workers without boundaries acting like animals is so far from today’s work environment.

People were prejudice and inclusive in the 1980’s. In the eighth grade someone asked our history teacher if the United States was ready for a black president, the teacher said no.  Twenty odd years our society has improved, enough people are tolerant to judge people on the individual, not on race or gender. In the 1990’s as a teenager my friends and I kind of joked about the politically correct stuff that was suddenly big in our schools. Improvement was made on a huge level the 1990’s, after the Rodney King riots. Education reformers and others made that push because things did get ridiculous.  So that’s why in the scene in ‘The Wolf on Wall Street’ where they have a business meeting to discuss throwing midgets at a bulls eye target as if the midgets were animals the viewer kind of cringes. Also early on when they shave a woman’s head in front of the whole office giving her ten thousand dollars it comes off as an ugly bullying by today’s standards.

My other big reason that this movie is pissing people off is it’s about Wall Street. These bandits led by Leonardo Dicaprio’s character are not concerned about their client’s financial future, but only with their commission. The Dicaprio character (I don’t think the character names even really matter in this film) likes drugs, whores, and excess. Since the 2008 Wall Street crash, a lot of people really don’t like the idea of greed in the finance sector.  They have no morals, and depleted a lot of savings accounts to fuel their egos. I know everyone now is supposed to hate the one percent in this country.  Everyone agrees the economic inequality is horrendous and everyone should be able to have a decent living. I agree that that in general the poverty rate is too high when it hovers nationwide about twenty percent. But I don’t agree that it’s the fault of all rich people.  Everyone points at finance people as rich people. But there are athletes, entertainers, writers, lawyers, doctors, and all sorts of people that fall into that one percent. A lot of them made it from being skilled and good at what they do. Hopefully one day I’ll sell a book and be rich too.  The dreams of excess and being rich are engrained in the American dream. There is nothing wrong about fantasizing about being on a yacht with all your friends and thirty beautiful whores. That’s why I think people should chill out with not liking this movie for the excess. Why not let people fantasize a little bit. And even though we all supposedly hate the one percent right now, we all really want to be in that one percent at the same time.

Overall, I recommend ‘The Wolf on Wall Street,’ even though it may not make the viewer feel warm and fuzzy. A long time ago I read Requiem for a Dream and it gave me a perspective. I will never do heroin but was gripped by the story, and that story stayed with me.  Same for this movie ‘The Wolf on Wall Street,’ I’ve never done cocaine, queloids, and several other things in this film. After viewing it I was not happy or ecstatic, but I’m still thinking about it a week later

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