Shauli Chakraborty
Film: Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps
Director: Oliver Stone
Cast: Micahel Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Frank Lagella
Rating: Very Good

What is a moral hazard?” asks one of Gordon Gekko’s (Michael Douglas) admirers as she lines up for his autograph on a copy of his book Greed Is Good. That is also the time when  Jacob (Shia LaBeouf), the guy who is dating his daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan), hurries in with some crucial information. Gekko smiles at both and replies, “Moral hazard is when somebody takes all your money and is not accountable for it.” A line that haunts you throughout the movie and even after.
Gordon Gekko is back—with a bang! The unrelenting Wall Street legend who simply cannot stay away from trouble is more like a creature in the dark, waiting to strike at the first opportunity. He is manupilative, wicked and ungrateful. But this time Gekko has a heart. Not that he likes it, but something that he cannot keep buried anymore.
The film begins with Gekko stepping out of jail after serving a sentence of 8 years. Later he remarks, “Jail is the best thing that happened to me. It set me thinking about my life.” Once out, he is looking for two things — to resurrect his career and set things straight with daughter Winnie. Jacob too is out for revenge after his mentor is forced to commit suicide by the Wall Street bullies. He strikes a deal with Gekko where the latter would advise him on the markets and he would try to convince Winnie to forgive her father. When Jacob suggests a family dinner as a first step towards the much-needed reconciliation Gekko quips, “At my age I’ll settle for anything.” This is quality Gekko in his younger days, dare not bare. Here he manages to win few hearts, breaks them with unabashed arrogance only to make a comeback later. The film is more of Gekko’s journey to the realisation that, “Time is more important than money.”
Both Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan put in restrained and mature performances. They look good as a couple and complement each other totally. Josh Brolin and Frank Lagella make recession-hit Wall Street politics more credible. This time too director Oliver Stone has hit the bull’s eye and the film is sure to go a long way. Allan Loeb’s screenplay has sketched every character with surgeon-like precision. Another important feature is the camerawork. Wall Street never looked this sinster before and with recession as a backdrop the omnipresent lens of Rodrigo Preito is the king of all it surveys. The camera works wonders when it zooms in on Jacob’s office at the beginning of the film and later, when Gekko meets Jacob at a water park to discuss money. The scene when Gekko welcomes Jacob to his rented apartment that has no walls is a masterpiece. Once in a while we come across films like Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps. Even rare are instances when each character artiste is at his best. Go make yourself part of history.

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