We watch so many movies throughout our lifetimes, but the ones that we’ll remember will be those that we feel change our lives.
If you’ve ever watched a movie and felt completely changed or influenced by it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sometimes, films touch us in a way that we never thought they could. Certain words, phrases, or fictional decisions of fictional characters stick in our minds for a long time after we’ve watched the film, and we can’t help but refer back to it throughout many of our moments in life.
For me, the movie that totally changed my life was The Wolf of Wall Street.
So you’re probably thinking, what? A movie about a drug taking, law breaking sales man? But when you look past all the immorality in The Wolf of Wall Street, it’s the journey of an ordinary working class man to his becoming one of the richest and most well known business men in the world. When you look at that aspect of the storyline, it’s a lot more inspiring than you might at first think.
This movie teaches ordinary people that there are opportunities everywhere, and that all you have to do is seize them. Jordan Belfort makes manipulating the business world seem easy, and no matter who we are, or where we are in life at the moment, it’s a film that can inspire everyone and anyone to be more and do more.
Life can be tiring and hard, but The Wolf of Wall Street, for all its immoralities, points out the possibilities in life, and reminds us how it feels to truly celebrate. The vibrant scenes of money, parties and fun make us smile, whether we should or not. We can’t help but grin and celebrate Belfort’s successes with him.
Even his fall, as we see him decline into a drug induced wreck, and eventually arrested, teaches us more about life than most films ever do. We watch and ask how he could risk everything he had when he worked so hard for it, and then we begin to question whether we would have done the same. We of course come to the conclusion that we would have done things differently, that we would have maintained the perfect lifestyle that we’ve always dreamed of. But the film acts as a reminder that we don’t always know how we’d act in certain situations, and serves as a warning, warning us against the dangers of success.
We could also see the film as a lesson about values. We see Belfort sacrifice everything, and involuntarily we put ourselves in his position, and question his priorities. In the end, it’s not the money that we envy, but the lifestyle. His family and his lack of worry means more than any of the material possessions we see him buy. We feel sympathy for his family, and wish he hadn’t been so affected by his sudden wealth.
Ultimately, this changed my life in terms of teaching me what was important. So many of us aspire to wealth, and always greed for more, but in the end, it’s the people and not the wealth that make our lives worth living. It also teaches us to appreciate success, rather than to take it for granted. We can learn from the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort. It also warns away from the dangers of addiction, as we can consider Belfort’s drug use as an addiction, and also his reliance on money.