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The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)


30th June 2018

Just as last year, we had a relatively small turn out for the film immediately after the Rusthall fete: 31 souls. Although once the interval half wat through this 3 hour marathon ended we were down to the high 20s. Interestingly about the same number of people expressed to me unsolicited praise of the film as walked out. For my part I did enjoy the film but partly as I felt Scorses's pain in having too many minutes of good footage to fit in the 90 minutes that this film deserved. Although it was not repetitive in detail, the overall plot was slow to move to its (one would hope) inevitable conclusion. Eugene.

Completely Out of Control. What does it look like when wealth, gained fraudulently, is left to come to full heat? Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is a Modern day version of Hogath's morality tale, A Rake's Progress. Compare Hogarth's 1730 painting series with Martin Scorsese film direction set in the gratuitous 1980's Wall Street and you have the same trajectory of moral decay and its consequences. Scorcese is kind to his fallen hero. Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) is self-made, rather than inherited as was Tom Rakewell, the Rake, depicted by Hogarth. DiCaprio's performance is stellar as "man turned wolf" through his transformation as earnest husband to amped up drug, sex and money addict. We can laugh at the audacity of the character, its fun, its excesses, and stupefying scenes (all of which can be surmised with IMDB's plot keywords for the film). And it goes on. The humour wanes as the addictions increase and if we can bear watching any longer, we see greed at its worst. We want it to end, and it's a long time coming before the FBI comes in when loyalty cracks. The poignant ending includes the real-life character Jordan Belfont introducing DiCaprio as Belfont to an audience (people like you and me) looking to learn how to become wealthy. It's astonishingly close to what we hear is happening in the White House today. Karen.

The evening began with a live performance by the very talented singer/guitarist, Jacqueline Albright, singing a song soothingly anti-dotal to the film we were about to see. The Wolf of Wall Street, a too long, boring, three hour film, I am not fully informed enough to give an overall opinion about, as I left half way through. It portrays the sector of our race in pursuit of riches and self aggrandisement, thriving alas to this present day, with particular skills for exploiting and trampling on the more vulnerable in society. I felt no sympathy or empathy with any of the characters let alone the lead man, Jordan. They all become unimaginably rich. They run out of excesses to indulge themselves in, and spend much energy in inventing more and more extravagant ways of abusing themselves as well as others. The thought of another ninety minutes in this debauched company of chauvinists was too much for me. Sonia

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Rusthall Community Cinema, Sunnyside Community Hall, Rusthall Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8RA.  hello@RusthallCinema.club