Friday, 16 November 2012

Wall Street (1987) - ★★★½

Director: Oliver Stone
Writers: Stanley Weiser, Oliver Stone
Stars: Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, Daryl Hannah

Wall Street is a strange film. I say it's strange because even though I had little idea as to what happens or how the business works at Wall Street, I still felt comfortably involved with everything that was happening in this film. In that respect, I think this is a great film. It didn't dumb it down, or slow down for that matter, but it was easy to follow.

Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is an ambitious stock trader who wants nothing more than to get into the big leagues. He has been continuously trying to work with Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), one of the biggest stock speculators on Wall Street. Gekko's motto: greed is good. He believes that nothing will stand in the way of him pursuing a good deal. He takes advantage of Bud's desire to succeed, which involves making him get information from any source and using it to gain an advantage.

There are many messages that I received from this film. One was the addiction to power that the leading men on Wall Street have. Even when they have hundreds of millions of dollars, it's not enough. It's all about defeating the enemy and playing the game to win. For these men, earning money isn't what they are trying to achieve, but power is their main goal. Michael Douglas showed this greediness, this addiction, so powerfully that Wall Street actually became interesting. There was also a more sentimental message, which was that money "makes a person do things they don't want to do." This is so true, as are many other lines in this spectacularly written film.

Charlie Sheen played a great main character, and for me was still the lead of the film. He clearly showcases his brilliant acting ability in what I believe is his finest performance to date. What was also interesting to see is his scenes with his father Martin Sheen, who played his father on screen as well. You could feel the chemistry there. Overall, the best performance was from Douglas, who is so darn believable as the obsessed stock speculator. Every scene involving him was gold. I'm glad that he won an Oscar for Best Actor for Wall Street, for he portrayed a character that seemed normal on the surface yet the psychological disorders inside of him were also evident.

The film is great in many aspects, particularly in the acting. The last thirty minutes of Wall Street had me thrilled, which made up for the occasional feelings of boredom. Although I didn't understand a lot of the Wall Street 'talk' and 'trade,' the film still made sense to me and was interesting enough to keep me entertained. I think it's a great film.

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