By Maria Katafigioti (Athens, Greece)


I just watched The Wolf of Wall Street and I must say I found it quite platitude, yet at the same time, interesting. Now, I had it on good authority, from reliable sources, whose opinion I respect, that the movie would be… less than entertaining and entirely overlong. I did not do that because of my lack of trust in the opinion of people whose taste and common sense I do not really question. However, I have seen much debate being generated about the movie, and felt I could not in good faith opine and weigh in without seeing it myself and making up my own mind.

I came in knowing that I would not enjoy the movie. I came in knowing that I would be exasperated and annoyed. Thus, I was not proved true. I do have to commend the actors – Leonardo DiCaprio and Kyle Chandler both did exceptional jobs, as did Jonah Hill and some of the others. DiCaprio, not at all one of my favorite actors, makes a far better antagonist than a hero. He should stick to that.

This movie was three hours of hedonistic, mindless, most of the time, pointless, drivel, which I do not judge, but I do not recommend either. It showed human beings reduced to the lowest common denominator, human beings losing their souls, and most of the time, becoming worse than animals. Being a lawyer I come across many clients who were drug addicts, and I observe in them, what I saw in this movie – their faces… being horrified by what they’ve gone through. Most of them are young but seem centuries older. There is an abyss in their eyes. Their soul, everything that makes them human, is destroyed and emptied by the drugs.

Absolute despair of human self-destruction, hopeless and sometimes, irreversible. And the tragedy in that is the fact that The Wolf of Wall Street, was a brilliant, charismatic guy, beloved by his employees, who could have made a lot of money, if not more ethically, and could have been an incredibly positive influence for the world in whatever capacity he chose – he was that good in inspiring and motivating people and giving hope to those whom no one else would take a chance on. I’m afraid that the way this movie ended makes it makes us wonder if, there is in fact, a lesson to be learned here. I’m afraid that the majority of the audience will either find this “cool” and “diverting”.

Furthermore, I have to say that I did not like that the movie begins with a god-awful caricature of a speech by Matthew McConaughey, which is entirely false in its essence… and by the time the movie is over, you are thinking that the main guy is a monster and the Wall Street atmosphere was decayed and sickening. And that makes you wonder… are there any good guys over there in Wall Street? Can Hollywood make a movie about a good finance guy, someone who rose from the lower ring to a top, and perhaps did all of this in good ethics? Would this make such a movie boring and wouldn’t sell? Does Hollywood have a specific agenda on the issue? Can viewers understand that human nature is doomed by a default mechanism of built-in greed when it comes to money and fame? When is more, enough? When and where do we stop? Can we stop? Are we masters of our minds, or those who think that they are, are just delusional?

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