Tuesday, August 2, 2016

WALL STREET(directed by Oliver Stone) Still Entertains and Delivers

What is one to make of Oliver Stone? Usually, the problem is Hollywood entertainers fall flat on their faces as wanna-be artists. They work well with formula but get lost outside it. Stone is the opposite. He is best in artistic mode and falls flat with formula. Stone's villains are usually the best since Stone cannot endorse their positions. Yet, he's too much of an artist to simply present them as monsters. Also, the egotistical side of Stone makes him, at least subconsciously, identify with power-hungry men. So, the character of Gordon Gekko is glorious in WALL STREET. He's a crook, a real shark. But we admire his instincts, insights, talents, and ruthlessness. There is magnificence in his greed. It isn't just hunger for money but a passion for life. That said, he is a man of no scruples; he has no vision beyond the self. He is scum.

One could argue that the portrayal of Gekko is too sensational, especially with handsome Michael Douglas in the role. Good or bad, he is the star like Hannibal Lecter is in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. He is above conventional morality, beyond good and evil. Still, anyone with moral sense should see him as Mr. Sleaze.

Stone succeeds with Gekko because he is artist enough to see him from all angles. Where Stone falters(in this movie and in others) is when he deals with the Good Guys, the representatives of Labor. Stone goes formula and gives us trite speechifying about the Common Man. It's like Stone is on auto-pilot doing assembly line screenwriting. It is by rote than wrote.

Rating: 3/5

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