Does "The Wolf of Wall Street", airing now in UAE, make fraud look like all fun and games?
Anybody who has sat through the full three hours of the new Martin Scorsese movie ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ that tells the real life story of Jordan Belfort might come away wondering if good really does ever truly triumph over evil, or perhaps this film is a kind of market topping event in itself.
Such is the amorality of this piece of cinematography that it lost 45 minutes in cuts when screened in the United Arab Emirates this week. The removal of a record number of profanities and sex scenes almost rendered the plot incomprehensible.
That could say something about the higher moral standards of the region, however hypocritical they might appear at times. Films that glamorize crime may deserve death by a thousand cuts. They also ruin a rather entertaining film and what will undoubtedly become a modern cult movie.
All the same ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ has an aura of a one-off, send up of reality. Who could possibly imagine that Jordan Belfort’s biography tells anything other than fantastic lies? That is how he made his fortune after all, rising from cold calling financial services salesman to multimillionaire brokerage owner.
Could anybody really live that utterly decadent lifestyle of drugs, sex and intial public offerings? He was rather a young man but you do have to wonder. However, what is missing from this movie is any sympathy for the many average people who lost their life’s savings and decent retirements to this unapologetic fraudster.
We still get those same phone calls here in the UAE. Any such call should always be put down with a polite ‘thank you’. No decent financial company ever cold calls anybody. Why are they still tolerated? Watch this film and you will get an idea of this utterly fraudulent company culture.
Wall Street trash
If this movie is itself a wake up call to the innocent, it could also be the final whistle on the bubble blowing on Wall Street. History has many examples of financial bubbles that eventually blow up. That happened in 2008 but bigger bubbles have been blown on Wall Street since then with the S&P 500 stock market index up 170 per cent.
Many investors will turn out to be bigger losers than Mr. Belfort whose book and movies are now making him millions again. He also only spent 22 months in one of the more luxurious prisons to pay his debt to society and quit his substance abuse.
His latest incarnation is as a sales training speaker roving the world. Welcome to the reality of the modern financial system. You can understand why it has become so hated that many hope it fails.
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