Wolf of Wall Street: Can Money Really Change People?

I got a chance to watch The Wolf of Wall Street on Sunday.  I read some of the reviews and I was expecting a much different movie than what I saw on the screen.  The one positive was the fact that the main character landed a dream job on Wall Street, lost it, and reclaimed a major piece of the American Pie on his was to fame and fortune.  I just have a hard time understanding the blatant drug use depicted in the movie.
Almost every victory was celebrated with a major snort or drink.  I wonder what happened when Wall Street was rescued by the federal government.  Subdued partying?

In one of the opening scenes, the character played by Matthew McConaughey takes Mr. Belfort to lunch to show him the ropes.  Even though it is during his first week, the long time broker orders enough martinis for a Friday night party.  Also, as is a constant them throughout the movie, snorts cocaine right at the lunch table.  I was floored because the $3,000 suits and the $500.00 lunches are supposed to be reserved for those privileged few that have escaped the danger of drug use and who have attended the best schools in the land.
Money doesn't buy happiness in all situations.

The movie was based on the real life rise and fall of Jordan Belfort.  After getting laid off when the stock market crashed, Jordan's first wife offered to sell her ring to help with expenses.  She was a loyal partner and got shafted when the riches started flowing for Jordan.  Jordan got his mojo back when he found out that he could make 50% commission selling penny stocks.  He recruited childhood friends with no experience selling stocks and made serious inroads into the sometime slimy word of stock trading.  I wonder what excesses the movie on the life of Bernie Madoff will reflect.  He swindled everyone and it should not be a happy recounting of his plunders.

I wonder how Jordan had the energy to lead a firm and make any cogent decisions.  It seemed like all he lived for was the next get high session.  He smoked crack.  He snorted tons of cocaine.  And he drank to excess.  Also, he was able to purchase a 100 foot yacht.  Mansions.  And he got the trophy wife.  It still seems like it wasn't enough to make him happy.  As he addressed his troops, the message was, being rich outweighs any other ambition in life.  Working at McDonald's was not an option.

He was paid a visit by the FBI on his expensive yacht.  I really didn't get the gist of what he was doing wrong to deserve the scrutiny.  Subsequently, he began to move millions out of the country through various means.
Even when the chips started to fall, it doesn't look like he suffered any major consequences.  His home life fell apart.  Even thought he claimed sobriety for a couple of weeks, the anticipated divorce drove him right back to a gigantic pile of cocaine.  Shades of Scarface before his bullet riddled demise.  The antiseptic ending to this super long movie was anti-climactic though.  Lesson learned:  Tons of money do not always translate into happiness.  I didn't learn anything new in this movie.  It seemed to easy to earn the money, send it over seas, and avoid the consequences of a hedonist lifestyle.

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