3 February 2014

Luckily We're In First Class



There's a television program called The Jeremy Kyle Show that I'm kind of obsessed with because it's so fucking awful. Basically it's one of those chat shows that has evolved from the Victorian Freak Show in which a never ending supply of gozzy eyed fucktards turn up to scream and drool all over each other. I hate everything about it but I can't help but tune in because it's like looking through a gateway and into another dimension. Imagine the bomb went off during the Cold War and we're now living in some radioactive dystopia where buck-toothed mutants queue up to be judged by Kyle, their Lizard king and that's kind of what it's like. I think the point of the show is to laugh at the lives of these deficient individuals which I obviously do... Although not because I think I'm better than them but because sometimes something is just so awful that it has to be a joke. In the words of The Comedian “Mother forgive me”. I watch it almost every day but that doesn't mean I like anything about it at all. It is the purest definition of car crash TV… in that if everybody involved were to be killed by a car the world would be a far better place.

Roadside deaths aside though, the reason that I can find enjoyment of this show is remarkably similar to the reason that I enjoyed The Wolf Of Wall Street. This is the latest film to star DiCaprio and the fifth in which he's worked with his Sugar Daddy, Director Martin Scorsese. Based on the life of an ex-stock broker named Jordan Belfort, the film depicts his transformation from an enthusiastic whipper-snapper into a massive rich twat. Set during the 80's and 90's, the movie depicts the highs and lows of too much money with particular emphasis on how the excesses of the time seemed to turn people into demented fucking sociopaths. Fuelled by his need for more of everything, DiCaprio's Belfort is corrupted by his obsessive search for power, drugs and anything else that might distract him from realising what a solid gold fucknugget he is. Despite generally positive reviews though, the film has apparently caused some degree of controversy with many sources claiming that it glamorises its main character and his decadent, dick of a lifestyle. With Belfort's social life being like a scene from Caligula and his business meetings being like a frat party I can see where the criticism might be coming from. I can see where it's coming from but in the same way that Jeremy Kyle's guests are meant to be human, as a theory it is just plain wrong... And here's why!

Either he thinks he's Jesus or it's a 'T' for 'twat'.
Okay, so for a start who doesn't want to be rich? I know people say that money can't buy happiness but it can certainly buy shit that would make me happy. Did you know that there's a replica R2-D2 movie projector out there in the world? Fuck financial stability, if I bought that I don't think I could ever be miserable again! Belfort is somebody who clearly agrees and so it's easy to see this film as a kind of wish fulfilment thing as he spunks all his money on big houses, boats and abusing dwarves. But then to see this as a glorification of his life you kind of also have to ignore the drug addictions and his subsequent downfall surely? A lot of us would like to shag a fashion model on a bed of money but you'd have to have some strange fetishes to then want to punch her in the stomach as she takes away your children. Sure Belfort looks like he's having a good time when snorting coke off a whores tits but Ralf Fiennes also looked like he was having fun in Schindler's List when shooting random Jews in the fucking head. Just because I see a cunt enjoying himself it doesn't mean I want to leap in and have a go myself.

This is where The Jeremy Kyle Show comes back into things again as like I said, I watch that show and enjoy it despite having absolute contempt for all involved. In both cases I don't have to relate to or empathise with the people on screen to find enjoyment. In fact the enjoyment comes from seeing these horrendous people obliviously making absolute dicks of themselves. For example, in The Wolf of Wall Street there's a really funny sequence in which Belfort is off his face on drugs and so has to crawl his way to his car. It involves him rolling down some concrete steps, getting his foot stuck in his cars door handle and then fighting with his friend who is equally as spaced out. It's genuinely hilarious but the joke isn't ‘look at how great he is, I wish I was him’. The joke is look at what an absolute tit this guy is- I hope that fucking hurt!

I suppose though that there is some defence for the people who see it as promoting Belfort's arse gargle of a life. Aside from what is simply on screen, I think it's clear from interviews that Scorsese and all involved were making a film aimed at criticising the money burning, very real bell-ends of Wall Street. However just because a film was made with good intentions doesn't mean it can't be interpreted differently by different people. I mean I'm pretty sure that The Terminator is meant to be about a crazy robot who kills people but when I watch it all I see is anti-abortion propaganda... Everybody is trying to kill an unborn child because despite still being a foetus, it has the potential to change the world. Even though the mother might not be ready for it due to being single, unemployed, young and have awful hair. Anyway, so yeah, my point is that maybe people do watch Wolf Of Wall Street and see it as being an advert for life as a mega-rich, uber-twat but for all the reasons mentioned above that's clearly not what it actually is. It's the difference between saying, “The film is promoting their lifestyle” and “My personal reading of the film is that it is promoting their lifestyle”. Their reading is just as valid as anybody else's on a personal level but that doesn't make it a fault of the film if they see it and decide it's made everything look quite appealing. It just means that when they see Belfort causing all his shit they think it looks fun and then feel ashamed that that's how they felt. If you look at a Rorschach test and see an image of your mums gaping arse it's not that you're wrong but just that maybe it's not the psychiatrist you should get mad at.

Oh good, another party scene. I hope a bomb goes off in this one.
Personally I thought that this was a great film which mocked its main characters and highlighted the horror of a society that forces decent but poorer people to bend over and get fucked up the arse. If either of us were in this film, we wouldn't be the ones burning money and buying yachts, we'd be the depressed looking woman who gets her head shaved for the passing laughs. We wouldn't be the fat man who can afford to eat his employee's pet goldfish... we'd be the fucking goldfish. If I have any criticism it would most probably be in regards to the films length which, like the drooping trunk of an old man’s foreskin, it’s just a bit too much. All of the party scenes are enjoyable but you could easily take a couple out without losing anything vital and then stick the trimmings on the DVD. I understand that they're funny and show the kind of parties that these people throw but I don't need to see every little thing to understand the situation. Apparently Scorsese struggled to edit this down from four hours too which is strange considering that structurally The Wolf of Wall Street is pretty much identical to Goodfellas. Thank fuck he managed at least that though because my bladder was already pretty close to turning me into an explosive, fleshy biological bomb of piss.

Finally though, it's really worth noting just how brilliant DiCaprio's performance is as he flops about the screen with the force and pain of a man who’s really working hard for that Oscar. Watch also how he riles up his workers with motivational speeches as though channelling both an annoying 'Praise the Lord Preacher' and Hitler during the Nuremberg rallies. If you really think this is advocating his behaviour, I think you need a long hard look in the mirror to fully contemplate your own stupidity before we never speak to each other again! Belfort constantly comes back to proving how great a stockbroker is by asking his minions to sell him his own pen. Shame he never tried that with Jo Pesci in Scorsese's previous film Casino because he'd have ended up with it being stabbed through his selfish fucking neck. 

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