I finally had the chance to go and see the somewhat controversial film the Wolf of Wall Street on Saturday and had the opportunity to decide for myself whether it lived up to all the hype.
I have come across many Bankers and Ex Bankers who have regaled me with the details of how the sector used to function and how it would play host to debauchery and scandal. I must add, that Banks are no longer like this and strict regulations do not allow for the ludicrous behavior we were made audience to throughout the film – those days are well and truly over! I never really believed these stories much but after seeing this film, GOSH, I was left speechless.
Based on the book created by the real life wolf himself, Jordan Belfort (oh yes, he is real), we get a sneak peek into one of the US’s now shut down trading floors, and witness how the villainous Mr. Belfort tricked his victims into investing in penny stocks that didn’t see much prospect in the way of returns.
We are given the rundown on how Mr. Belfort trained his fellow crooks into using handy psychological tactics to manipulate his client’s feelings and thoughts into believing that what they knew deep down to be a stupid mistake was in fact the right choice to make.
As the film unfolds, we see how Mr. Belfort and his co-conspirator, Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill’s character) take it one step further and manipulate the stock market by taking a shoe company public having fixed the IPO by buying out most of the shares under ‘rat-holes’ (peers who are willing to buy shares for someone in order for that someone to have control of prices).
Cut to all the excessively rude and crude scenes in which I was left blushing to say the least, the man looked like he was living the life of some skewed conception of God! But alas, it was not to be for Mr. Belfort, as we witness what has taken him years and years to build, all come crumbling down within minutes. Having misjudged one of his many partners in crime, all who were made privy to the scandal were handed in to the police.
Now I sound like this film was awful, it truly was anything but! The insight into the harsh consciousness of some of these real life villains was fascinating and justice was well and truly served at the end. As I previously said, it is important to note that the sector is nothing like this, and I believe Mr Belfort’s example of a life of excess was in the extreme compared to other stories I had heard, but it does teach you a lesson on how new regulations are stringent that any wrong-doings now are caught and punished, and I am more than certain that HR legislation in every single company across the world would not allow for midgets being thrown at a dart board. Any budding wolves would never be able to get away with any thing such as this, the original wolf didn’t even manage it.
I would most definitely recommend this film to anyone who has an interest in the sector, or for anyone who loves a good laugh. In true Scorsese style, the comedy mixed with the sheer brutality of business, balances out the overall mood of the film but does not take away from the seriousness of how corrupt Stratford- Oakmont really was.
You’ve heard my thoughts on the film, how about yours?