ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Greed Is Back and Even More Wolfish Than Ever

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is an acid dissection of the wanton life and times of a criminally wealthy stockbroker.

For a lot of Indian cinemagoers, The Wolf of Wall Street will be familiar yet strange. It’s based, like most of Martin Scorsese’s films, on a real-life figure, a wealthy stockbroker named Jordan Belfort who has since abandoned his flamboyantly wayward high-lifestyle to re-engineer himself into a much-sought-after motivational speaker. What makes the film exceptional, however, is that it projects the corrupt financier as a different kind of criminal altogether.

Belfort starts out as an “honest” broker, one who hopes to make a living through commissions from every stock his client purchases. The young Jordan, who is cast out of paradise on the Black Monday of 1987 when Wall Street famously crashed, lives in a small apartment with his first wife, scouring classified ads for job listings for unemployed stockbrokers. Now if that picture of a jobless stockbroker looking up jobs in his trade (under classifieds literally listed as “Wanted – Stockbroker”) reminds you of a political cartoon, then you’re watching the right film.

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