Sunday, October 10, 2010

Money Is A Bitch Who's Sleeping With One Eye Open

In a way that is true. I mean, if you're a stock player, that is like the ultimate truth, like the fact earth revolves around the sun truth. You'll never know what would happen to your bitch cause it's all a speculation (just picture your high-class call girl. Will she still be there in the morning? You'll never know). Yes, people, Wall Street : Money Never Sleeps is an educational movie and perhaps slightly dizzying with its confusing financial tricks. I am lucky that I'm a business school student so I sort of understand how the games are played in stock markets. Unfortunately, I'm not that good of a student in my financial classes therefore I am not capable to explain those smart and cunning strategy in a stock market.

However, I will try my very best effort to give a review for this amazing movie. (A lot of people said the first movie is waaayyyy better. But I haven't watch it and I'm easily impressed!)

So there's this scrawny young ambitious man named Jacob Moore (LaBeouf) who is in a serious need of a hair gel (IMHO) and a chill pill. He's a typical broker you know : thin, agile, and a sweet talker. Jake is engaged (well, he didn't propose until in the middle of the movie) to Winnie Gekko. Winnie (Mulligan), who does not look like a pooh bear at all, is the daughter of Gordon Gekko (Douglas), the slimy and most malicious broker of all who just got out of jail. The story set in, duh, yours truly and only New York City year 2008. We'll get back to these two soon.

Little Jake was once just a caddy for a high ranked broker, Lewis 'Lou' Zabel (Langella) and eventually 'adopted' as his pet. 12 year old Jake impressed Lou in a great way with his in depth knowledge about financial and business thingy so he gave him a scolarship in a business school and recruited him afterward.
Now, obviously, Jake developed some sort of attachment and took Lou as a fatherly figure (he does look very fatherly). They both worked for a bank (I forgot the name) called KL. Lou was one of the important people with lots of shares in KL. In a one fine day, KL stock prices declined rapidly, like a bungee-jumping- -free-fall, fall. Hence, Lou was forced to sold his portion of shares with an excruciatingly low price, (from $79 to $3)or he would face a great amount of debt. The buyer, Bretton James (Brolin), was one of the people from Churchill & Swartz bank, and he was so mean! Seriously, I felt so bad for Lou and was really angry with heartless Bretton. As expected, Lou committed suicide due to devastation. I know, I screamed deep down in my heart too. Lou looks like such a nice granddad that you'd want to share your cookies with!

Jake was shocked and in denial by the death of his mentor so he proposed to Winnie (I don't get that either, let's just play along, okay?) whom strangely said yes. Girl, your boyfriend is a mess, how did you not see that? Getting married is not going to help anybody. But hey, weddings are not expensive right?

So here we are back to Winnie Gekko. Yes, Gekko, it is one of the most feared name by stock traders in Wall Street. Back in 1980s, there was a scandal which caused Gekko a fortune and a lot of other people a huge loss. Gekko was sent to prison and now he's out and as ready as a hungry shark to strike back, although you can't tell in the first few minutes. Winnie is an estranged daughter who shut herself out from his father due to the death of her older brother.

Gekko was approached by Jake, whom at first, had a pure and noble intention. To reconcile Winnie and his daddy.  As the time goes, his intention become not so pure anymore. He was looking for revenge (yes, stock prices do not just go into a free fall without anything causing it) and needed help. Gekko knows all about Wall Street and he sort of gave him advices. 'Trading' as they exchanging advices with Winnie's reconciliation. Oh, poor poor Winnie.

Anyway, I am not going to give any spoilers here (as I am too tired and sort of drained of ideas). For me, this move is a genius. I want to go straight to Jakarta Stock Exchange with my best crisp white shirt and start selling and buying stocks. Of course, there are parts that forced my business brain to work real hard, but that's what makes it even better! I love movies that is making me think (not guessing) in a very logical and reasonable way. The story line was in a perfect pace. Not too slow, but not too fast either (we need time to digest all those financial terms!). The cast were stellar (come on, Michael Douglas, Shia LeBeuof, Carrey Mulligan, they all are promising!). But here's five highlights that I love about this movie :

1. Carey Mulligan pixie hair cuts. I know. I told you before. I'm a strange girl with an even more peculiar priority. Carey Mulligan is blessed with a chameleon face. She can be an innocent school girl with nice long hair and bangs or an independent liberalism young woman with a short pixie hair. She looks as adorable as always. And her chic effortless style was a nice break between all those three-piece suits.
2. Bubbles were here and there. This term 'bubbles' is used rather often. I believe it describes a situation where a stock price that was once increasing real strong suddenly burst and falling. So there were bubbles blown by little children at the beginning of the movie, in the middle, and at the ending. Such a neat way to remind viewers about this term! And I happen love bubbles!
3. The Goya 'Saturn Devouring His Son' painting. I think Goya was a brilliant artist and I don't think anyone would opposed to that. However, his arts never failled to disturbed me. With his dark paintings and all. It's always so... scary and so... depressing. But it reflects some part of this movie perfectly (can't say more, it'd be a spoiler) as it is a dog eat dog world out there. Who could stop a father taking benefit from his own daughter? (oops!)
4. Despite the title, I was really pleased that it's not all about business. The movie also emphasized on relationships. As a girl, I was naturally drawn to Winnie-Jake-Gekko relationships. It was nice to have a break from difficult financial conversation.
5. A happy ending! I was really apprehensive about the ending. I convinced myself that the movie would end up with some hanging ends. Turned out, Winnie took care her daddy issue and she had a baby and all and they lived happily ever after! Yeaayyy

Oh God, I'm so tired. Until next movie!

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