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At the movies

I went to watch the Wolf of Wall Street the other day. I was tired of always watching 3D animated movies with the kids. I wanted a change. So on a fairly free Monday morning, I went by myself.
Now there are a few things I should tell you about cinemas in India ( or at least Pune). I have been to cinemas back home, in the US, in Japan even in Australia and Singapore but there is nothing quite like cinemas in India. For starters, prices usually differ depending on where you seat, the closer to the screen, the cheaper. The last seats are called high class and can sometimes double in price the ones in the front. I am used to tickets being the same wherever you seat. Anyway prices also change depending on the time and the day. The earlier sessions are cheaper so it actually helps to go on a Monday morning at 9 Am. I spent 70 rupees for the movie as opposed to 150 rupees for the Saturday afternoon session.
The other interesting feature of cinema in India is that they play the national anthem before the beginning of the movie. And everyone in the theatre is expected to stand up. I get that but after almost a year here, I am still not used to it. I think that it is still tolerable. What annoys me the most is the intermission at the middle of the movie. The movie is stopped for some time to allow people to go and buy more snacks. It is actually very useful when you are with two kids whose bladders were about to burst because they drank their large drinks the first 10 minutes of the movie. But it cuts the flow of the movie and it is hard to concentrate once it is back on. Anyway enough with the weirdness of cinemas in India. Now let us talk about the movie.
I do not want to give too much away but it was an entertaining feature. I did laugh a lot. I was also disgusted a lot. I mean if the entire movie was fiction I could still bear it but since it was based on a true story, I could not believe my eyes or ears at the debauchery, obscenity and excess that were portrayed.  After the first 15 minutes I decided never to invest in anything a stock broker tells me to. If all these shenanigans were happening in a not so major investment firm back in the 90 s, imagine what was going on in the major ones. I shudder  at the thought. No wonder there was a recession. But I also get it; if I was making a million dollar a week, God only knows what kind of excess I would do. For starters, I would own a 100O pairs of shoes, and do not get me started on clothes, bags and accessories. I would fly 1 st class to great locations like Maldives and Bora Bora ans stayed in the most expensive suites.
But I digress. Now there seem to be a debate about this movie and the guy it is based on. Scorcese and Leo seem to portray him in a good light, ignoring his innocent victims. Some people even offer to boycott the movie so that the guy will not benefit from it in any way. Needless to say that I do not think there will be an Oscar nomination. It is true that we do not get to see the victims in the entire movie. They are sometimes heard and Leo and his gang make a mockery of them in the movie. But in all fairness the movie was not about them, it was about the guy and how he made his money and how he spent it. It was about him, and his problems, his rise and his fall. If the victims want their side of the story heard, they should write a book and make a movie about it. That sounds harsh but that is the awful truth. Now how many people will go watch a movie about how poor people or mid class people got cheated out of their money by some sleazy stock broker as opposed to a movie about those sleazy stock broker and their lavish lifestyle?  I think not too many, right? We want to know about the rich and famous, not the ordinary. We go to the movies to get entertained, to get away from our lives or our problems.  I feel sorry for those people and in a way I hope they get justice. But let us put politics and agendas aside and see things for what they are. It is a just a movie, made to entertain us. And I for one was highly entertained. Leo was as usual great. The movie was not as great as I expected. My standards are high after watching The Departed. But it was worth all the 70 rupees I paid. And I will watch it again once it comes out on TV.


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