Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street is the true story of Jordan Belfort; a stock broker who scams and deceives his clients for the sole purpose of making himself rich. Belfort is a character that can best be described as a person who only has his own best intentions in mind, yet somehow has the ability to convince others that they need him in their lives. He leads his subordinates through aggressive speeches and intimidation. At first, Belfort may seem like a role model or someone to look up to, but this notion is quickly diminished as the film unravels and the true depiction of Belfort and its male characters as whole is revealed.
The male characters in The Wolf of Wall ...view middle of the document...
In reality, the males in the film are really just idiotic children possessed by their obsessions with drugs, sex, power, and money. Jonah Hill’s character, Donnie, immediately quits his job, not even remotely thinking about the consequences, after he runs into Belfort and realizes how much money he could be making. In another scene, Belfort takes enough discontinued sleeping pills to paralyze him and still willingly drives. In the same scene Donnie, who also took a lot of the pills, chokes on a piece of salami and almost dies.
The bankers at the firm also seem to follow Belfort blindly. They do anything he says without question and almost seem to worship him. When Belfort informs the workers that he is leaving the company, they grow sad, beg him not to go, and some even begin to cry. Despite being such a selfish person, he can somehow still get everyone on his side, which shows the stupidity of the other male characters while also demonstrating his greediness.
Scorsese very effectively uses cinematic sound, which is sound that “that does not simply add to, but multiplies, two or three times, the effect of the image.” (Akira Kurosawa, p.207) to further demonstrate the animalistic tendencies of the male workers at the firm. In a scene in which Belfort is explaining the expansion of his company, a few of the bankers who work for him are viciously fighting. Belfort describes the workplace as “a madhouse. A greed fest with equal parts cocaine testosterone and body fluids”. In this scene, the sounds of the workers fighting are extremely amplified; making them sound almost like apes themselves. Fittingly, multiplying the feeling of their aggression and alpha-maleness.
Belfort cheats on his wife early on into the film. It is made known very early on that he has regular sex with prostitutes and strippers. Also, when he first notices Naomi at one of his parties, he openly flirts with her despite being married. He later goes onto have an affair with her. His constant desire for sex, despite being married, only shows his selfishness, his disregard of the institution of marriage, and his uncaringness for the effects his actions cause. Belfort and these other male characters don’t seem to realize the consequences of their actions but instead, stupidly act as if the rules don’t apply to them.
As mentioned, Belfort deceives and flat out lies to customers in order to essentially steal their money and make himself richer. Despite ignoring the obvious moral reason why this wrong, Belfort’s actions are unjustifiable because of the fact that despite being extremely rich, he continues to want more.
Eventually, the FBI grows suspicious of Belfort and start to track him. Belfort’s father, who is acting as his lawyer, advises him to step down from the company and sign an agreement that will remove him from legal jeopardy. Belfort initially listens, but at the last second changes his mind, telling them “they’ll need a wrecking ball to take [him] out of there”....