Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" (2010) - Movie Review

Oliver Stone in his subtle loud manner stomps his chest on how he was right couple of decades back about the financial system. You do not need a movie for that though, yet he did and here we are. The novelty of “Wall Street” was about the danger in this system that has crime with victims not so direct and done without guilt going unnoticed . No one listened and the crash in 2008 happened. The lesson will not be learned as the world has a better tendency to be addicted to gambling than reform on a large scale. Though it did turn around lot of people. But the truth is when things go normal, people go their way. I am not cynical but realistic on the chances of people changing in this game and hope I am blatantly wrong. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” sees the crash as a history lesson and in the meantime bring Michael Douglas to do Gordon Gekko. He does not shine in glory or cut through the cake but he is sleazier than he was the first time.

Gekko has served his time and is out selling books to make a living. His daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) has never forgiven him for not being there when her brother slowly died of drug addiction. With a very odd ironic obviousness, she is in love with Jake (Shia LaBeouf) and he is a trader in investment bank. Jake’s boss Louis Zabel (Frank Langella) is nearing his end as his final bail out request gets rejected by the US treasury by a strong influence of a Hedge fund manager Bretton James (Josh Brolin). Jake as anyone is intrigued by the charisma and the flair of Gekko. He caves in against Winnie’s wishes and begins to work with the man to avenge the suicide of his mentor Zabel.

As simple it sounds, the film does not invest completely itself in both the main story and the backdrop it is set. This is more than a backdrop as it is a beast which talks through the numbers through the walls of the Manhattan skyline. There are side stories which connect the dots in the scheme of things. Jake’s mom is the slice of the real estate greedy agents unable to understand the eventuality. The global disease of gambling is much more legally polished is sad. I believe the crash of 2008 did teach a lesson or more to wake up the people under the coma of this drug. The rush is the motivation and greed indeed is not so good.

The story grabs the attention of any reader while it left me detached. Jake is not greedy but channeled wrong in his vengeance and his deal with the devil is not so convincing. Apart from his fiancé's dad, the speech Gekko gives for book sale is not burning enough to believe this young man is thoroughly attracted to this veteran killer shark in the trade. Though we play along and as Stone showers us with graphs and numbers, there is no intimacy in accusations on the people who participated in this breakdown.

The idea is to show how the people in and around the financial hub refused to believe the slide and kept on with their gamble hoping everything to be won. Jake’s pet project of his ambition to invest in the fusion project for research and better world only makes it draw short of the distance it hoped to cover. That would have been the story I would have liked to see wherein though the first film shows greed, the market was not going down and is indeed prosperous. As much as annoying and unreasonable the character of Jake’s mom played by Susan Sarandon is, that is the facade people would have been under to talk themselves into going in for more and losing heavily.

“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is not a bad film. It has a very good plot, aggressive players in performers but a situation not being used well enough. For financial ignorant like me, it is the intention to dumb it down but the fact of it is that there is no clue in anyone in that is working out to understand this monster of a mess. Stone who did it sufficiently well enough in the first film does not have the power but has the skill to put together a film to pass by.

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