The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street ★★★★½

Scorsese builds to the final shot. We understand the point of view of Belfort through his actions and the relentless energy of the editing and structure. In voice-over it becomes clear he is a figure who cannot see beyond his own two eyes, and the editing and filmmaking mirror this notion. In a montage of explicit sex at the firm Jordan discusses a girl who gave everyone a blowjob and the man who married her, his voice never falters in rhythm when he says that man killed himself three years later and an image is inserted of the man's bloodied corpse in a bathtub, but then immediately the film moves back to sex uncaring about the aftershock of individuals who are not Jordan Belfort. We, as an audience, understand this is poisonous and while Belfort remains intoxicating the film slowly overruns with this poison. Earlier in the film Jordan's wife asks him if it is fair to sell penny stocks to the poor while they became rich, and later Jordan is heard saying "their money is better in my pocket".

When Jordan is eventually whisked off to jail for his crimes on Wall Street he's seen playing tennis, and later in a seminar he is seen once again selling his brand to the poor. Through the entirety of Wolf of Wall Street we've walked alongside Belfort until this moment when the camera turns and points into the audience and they stare slack jawed, in awe of his brilliance and the possibility of getting rich through his gospel. But they're merely pawns being taken advantage of in the quest for money, fame and power. It would be prescient for the current situation in the United States if this wasn't the narrative of the States to begin with.

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