Hollywood, it seems, has recently taken an unusual amount of interest in producing films with an original story behind them.
Two films from this year that belong to such a category are “The Wolf of Wall Street” by Martin Scorsese and the other is “12 Years a Slave” from Steve McQueen.
Two original films. Two different worlds.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Leo DiCaprio brings to life the story of Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf of Wall Street”, a mediocre guy with a lust for money, that sets him on the path of his monstrous success with his brokerage firm. A place where Jordan survives on drugs and narcotics and other worldly mundane pleasures to keep him sane.Well, not sane, alive.
Money, cars, a ridiculously expensive home and a former model for a wife. Even all this cannot sate Jordan’s lust for more. More money.
Come the crimes, more drugs, more parties. Jordan wants more. So much more that he has lost all interest in his wife, his home, his family. His heart belongs to Stratton Oakmont, his firm.
Taking down the facade of brokerage firms and Wall Street and bringing popular shoe designer Steve Madden into all this controversy may not have been the best way to go for Hollywood, but the movie has been a hit with the viewers, many of whom have failed to grasp the story that was lying underneath.
From the decadence of a broker’s life, from being a slave for money, we now come to a story of a man who was sold into slavery.
Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup, a free man of color in Saratoga, upstate New York during the pre-civil war era. A man who was tricked and abducted and sold into slavery. A man whose true identity was hidden away for over a decade.
Solomon toiled and cowered before the cruelty of his master, Edwin Epps, played by Michael Fassbender, who used to twist the words of the Bible for justifying his cruelty and adultery on his slaves. He was finally rescued by Bass, played by Brad Pitt, a Canadian carpenter who was working with him.
My heart went out to him, and tears welled up, when after 12 long years, Solomon returns to his home, and sees his once young vibrant wife turned into an old lady, his little son grown into a young strapping man, and his daughter blossomed into a pretty damsel, with a child of her own, and Solomon sobs and says, “I apologize for my appearance. But, I’ve had a very difficult time these past several years.” .
A man, who had lost everything, but not his will to survive, to make it back to his family.
A story worth telling. A show of what people of color had gone through in a country that now symbolizes freedom.
A life of debauchery. A life of slavery. Two stories. Two worlds. One industry. Hollywood.