The Scene That Changes the Entire Meaning of The Wolf of Wall Street – The Film Tourist

The Scene That Changes the Entire Meaning of The Wolf of Wall Street – The Film Tourist


Sometimes, it’s the details of a film that
matter most. Like… a single shot… a needle drop… — “I see a little silhouette of-“ — a
line of dialogue… — “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.” — a sudden cut… What seem like insignificant choices often
say more in under twenty seconds than other films say in two hours. In this new format, we’ll be studying these
seemingly trivial pieces, revealing how even the smallest element can bring layers of meaning
to a piece of art. Welcome to Wisecrack’s THE FILM TOURIST:
The Wolf of Wall Street. “Sell me this pen! Sell me… this pen.” The closing shot of The Wolf of Wall Street. “This pen works…” Just a simple push-in and crane-up. Well… what if I told you this shot changes
the meaning of the entire film? “This pen works, and I personally love—“ As a client describes ‘the pen’, his voice
drowns out and solemn music kicks in. Up to this point, the film has utilized poppy,
upbeat hits to underscore the debauchery. “The amnesia phase.” So, why the sudden shift to something more
serious and meditative? For most of its three-hour runtime, The Wolf
of Wall Street revels in Jordan Belfort’s excess: his yacht, his women, his drugs, his
parties — the lifestyle paid for by defrauding investors. That is, until the FBI circles in, seizing
Belfort’s cash and sending him away to prison for four years. But unlike similar films— where, the corrupt
Wall Street broker gets locked up and justice is served — The Wolf of Wall Street is absent
any overt moralizing. Belfort’s prison sentence is a cakewalk,
and he doesn’t even serve his full sentence. In the end, nothing has changed. Belfort is still selling and the people, well,
they’re still buying. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The final shot can be interpreted in a number
of ways, but here are our three favorites. One: the final shot holds up a mirror to us,
the moviegoers viewing the film. Notice there’s a backlight behind the seminar
that evokes a projector shining on the back of an audience. So, what does this mean? Well, it may to easy to lay the blame solely
on Jordan for all the moral depravity in The Wolf of Wall Street. “Jordan!” “Jordan, Jordan, listen!”
“Jordan? Jordan?” “Jordan!” “Jordan!” “You!” But, perhaps the final shot lays the blame
not only on Belfort, but on us, and the culture that allows and encourages his behavior. “My wife might divorce me but, yeah, let’s
do it.” Early on, Belfort says, “Every person you’re
on the phone with, they want to get rich and they want to get rich quickly. They all want something for nothing.” We may feel dignified because we’re not
crawling on the ground f**ked up on quaaludes, but truth is, Jordan’s scam wouldn’t work
if we didn’t share his dream of getting rich quickly. Wanting something for nothing… We all want to be just like him. Scorsese is essentially calling us out – we’ve
just spent three hours partying with Jordan, laughing and reveling in his exploits. It’s no wonder Jordan doesn’t suffer any
punishment in the end, because, after all, we revel in everything he does, living vicariously
through him, wishing that we could live his life. Two: do all these people staring intently
at one person, hanging on his every word remind you of something? Yeah, we’re gonna go there. Scorsese, a devout catholic, has spent much
of his career exploring his faith in films. Yet, in The Wolf of Wall Street characters
worship at the altar of something else: MONEY. The camera holds on these people: each one
in focus so we can see their painfully average faces — desperate, plain-looking people
looking for meaning; desiring that which can elevate them above their mundane existence. Is Scorcese cynically likening the transformative
power of faith to the transformative power of money? Except The Almighty never promised a million
bucks in eight easy steps. Three: what if by solemnly portraying a crowd
that worships Jordan, despite his detestable actions, Scorsese suggests something really
sinister? That we actually like being taken advantage
of. “Oh, baby! You’re gonna play rough, huh?” French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard famously
said as much — “The English unemployed did not become workers
to survive, they… enjoyed the hysterical, masochistic, whatever exhaustion it was of
hanging on the mines, in the foundries, in the factories, in hell, they enjoyed it… — “Ah! Jesus Christ!”— … enjoyed the mad destruction
of their organic bodies… — “I like it! I like it!” — the decomposition of their
personal identity, — “You are lower than pond scum.” — … enjoyed the dissolution
of their families and villages, and enjoyed the new monstrous anonymity of the suburbs
and the pubs in the morning and evening.” So, could this closing image indicate the
voluntary submission of the masses, who not only don’t mind white collar criminals stealing
their money, but find a perverse enjoyment in their banal existence under the heel of
the Jordan Belforts of the world? This one single shot is emblematic of just
how complex The Wolf of Wall Street is. As a true totem of our culture of excess,
the film defies easy answers. This format is a bit of a test for us, so,
let us know what you think in the comments. And as always, guys, thanks for watching. Peace.

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  1. Wholy fukin shit!!! Awesome point brought in, yes!! We all perpetuate our own enslaving, BOOM 💥💥💥💥
    Ill contribute with this:
    ReadTHIS.littleoceandrop.com

    The video format is confusing, work less, make it simpler and shorter, GO STRAIGHT TO THE POINT

  2. you can sell anyone anything. That is the real meaning behind the last scene…………………………..

  3. Wow I really wish you kept doing things like this (editing yourself into the movie to create context) in your later more recent Wisecracks . Please consider !

  4. @wisecrack good interpretation of the ending. I never thought of that. Rather I thought it was a way for the movie to add people who worked for him in the movie the way other movies add actual people as extras. Great angle!

  5. Whenever I see something saying, "Oh its societies fault!" I cringe.

    Like what do you expect us to do? Most people are too dumb to realize that there money is being took from them.

  6. what i took away from the ending perhaps overly simplisticly was; nothing changed, Jordan is unrepentant, infact he is still scamming people to this day using the same techniques he did before except now he's doing it completely legally, and yet dispite being completely unlikeable, narcacisstic and selfish, despite his supposed fall from grace, there he is preaching to a room full of suckers who all want to emulate him.

  7. At first I was like, “who’s this dude guy talking while Jordan’s speech, how rude…” then I realized 🤦‍♂️

  8. that last part is BS about voluntary… They probably did reframe their thinking to make themselves think it was voluntary, but there was nothing voluntary about it. The other choice was revolt, which is risky and mostly leads to death, so probably best to just stay put.

  9. Considering Jordan seemingly has the ability to use the movie and anything from it in his promotions let me offer another take…

    Maybe just maybe this scene was mandated by Jordan's contract. A subtle sales pitch from a man who understands that a certain group of people love sales movies like this. And would be likely to buy from him.

  10. Long time watcher, first time writer. I really liked the format and the essay. Great video and exciting work, great writing. Keep it up!

  11. Sell me this pen: This is my pen. It is special to me and you cannot have it. It is the only pen I’ve ever owned that makes me feel like my handwriting is perfect, and good handwriting suggest high intellect. If I were to sell it, you wouldn’t be willing to pay for what I ask for this pen. Because it’s not just a pen, it’s a mechanical marvel That eventuates writing with superior feel and writing precision.

  12. Investors dont want "something for nothing". They want profit for the risk of investing. If you mean they want to have the work done by others on their money then fine. But still they worked for their money and they sacrifice the freedom of usage of their money until they take out profits. Also yes we do want the benefits what he had. Everyone dreams of girls, money, fame, travel. The question is how much are we willing to throw away for it. Jordan was willing to screw his customers, throwing away his morality. Unless we do act in such a manner, the film has no ground to call us out, just because we enjoy a movie that depicts things that are enjoyable. This "calling out the viewers" is implied by many reviewers on many films but it barely holds true imo.

    The format was really cool. Its amazing how great scenes can be made by passionate youtubers.

  13. there was this one time I was selling pot to this amish dude, you know those guys who got the beard with no mustache? or some bullshit, well he says he only wants to make furniture

  14. Nicely done. Not sure if you are reading into things too much or not. Still interesting!😀👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  15. I feel like the music represents his types of high in the end he was fully sober and he's feeling like the world is grey

  16. Great vid although i really wish you elaborated on the 3rd point more. Why would the consumers enjoy being exploited. What justification does the author you referenced make?

  17. I’m the only person who actually likes Jordan Belfort and feels bad for what happened he is no worse than any one else in these sorts of businesses or any other stock brokers no one knows how stocks work the only properly illegal thing he did besides drugs was owning the women’s shoe company stocks bumping their price up then selling them for profit

  18. I agree that ppl generally wish they were Jordan Belfort (or Jay Gatsby, Gordon Gecko, etc) and I also agree that there is a quasi-spiritual component there. Paul Tillich famously taught that a person''s "god" was that person's "utlimate concern" so whatever one makes their "top priority" is in a way that person's "higher power". So I agree with that. Not sure what that "people enjoy being a victim" thing is coming from. I don't necessarily say that such a postulate is false but I'd want more explication there.

  19. The again, The Wolf of Wall Street can be seen as a critique of capitalism. Because capitalism breeds a lot of nefarious scams and schemes. Example; the invention of insulin. When it was invented the makers of it didn’t file a patent on it because they wanted it to be given away to people who need it. Fast forward a hundred years and the medicine is marked up at over 700%. In the times we live in the biggest scam is played on poor people who have been led to think that the rich are actually looking out for them.

  20. I can't bring myself to watch the movie. I don't want to be complicit to his moral acts of greed and depravity. I guess you're onto something but man that is sad.

  21. Coming from a salesperson, you are missing the entire point of the wolf of wall street. This lifestyle exists throughout the entire sales world and to a certain extent its necessary but, there's lines of ethics that shouldn't be crossed. The ethical line that he crossed was messing with a stock value that he personally profited from. The rest of what he did was wild but not wrong in a legal sense. The point to the wolf of wall street is #1 sales can be massively profitable and a ton of fun #2 if you dont sell ethically and act like an idoit you will loose your money machine, your family and your lifestyle and may even end up in prison.

  22. That was the best green screening I have ever seen amazing production value please make more and keep the quality high!

  23. Why do people ALWAYS forget the basics: B*tch I need to pay rent and buy sh*t. It's not as complex as you think. That meeting you had and was phenomenal? Yeah we forgot about it 2 seconds later, it's just you who still thinks on it.

  24. I think there's another idea that I haven't seen talked about by any youtubers, the idea that the group of people in Jordan's own personal hell. Here he is trying to explain his philosophy in a room of people who won't get it. Not one of those people will ask Jordan to write something down, and he has to go to each and everyone of them and ask them to sell it to him. That's his punishment people think is lacking from the film.

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