Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street - hypocrite's cut

Great - a day off to nurse the well earned head courtesy of the 1,514th birthday of the Prophet so I took myself quietly to the cinema. Now here in Muscat there is usually worse than extremely bugger all on to watch unless you like loud noisy boom boom bang bang films aimed at excitable gangs of 12 year old boys brought up on inappropriate video games. Or maybe you have a penchant for loud and noisy Bollywood. If so, then Muscat is good place to be. As such, I've virtually stopped looking at the local film cinema guides as there has, for me in my philistine way,  been so little point.  However I recently heard tell that a new Scorcese film was in town so that had to be good. Moreover, it was a chance midweek to watch a film, The Wolf of Wall Street, away from the TV screen. All good.

The Muscat cinema experience is always er...fun but I have got used to the chomping, crunching, late arrivals, small children and the cursed use of phones. I can live with that. I can even tolerate the rancid cheap stench of nachos and glowing industrial cheese. I know that scenes of an ...er...adult nature are usually inexpertly cut and, but as I get older,  I often think that they do not add much to a decent narrative. What I was not expecting though was that Mummy had decided to cut all the swearing, although they did uselessly miss quite a few words to giggles. Fools.  At first I thought it might be some new smart Scorcese style editing but now realise that it was done to protect the sensitive ears from such terrible and offensive language. I am not sure who they were trying to protect as, in my experience, the youth of the world are pretty fluent at basic English / American swearing.

Yet, the Wise Ones who distribute the film to the oh so sensitive souls of the Gulf have deemed that the scenes involving boozing - those Martinis and red wines sure looked good - the drug taking - less good - those could stay. Completely haram and nasty to the average subject here, supposedly anyway. Yet those irreligious scenes were all left in but as the protagonist is a Jewish American Mummy, (or should it be Daddy?) may have thought that is was OK to leave in? I have since read in The National over in the noisy,  UAE that Daddy there was responsible for the cutting out of 45 mins  - 25% of the film. Why bother? It concerns the sort of glitz, classlessness and excess that has built that nation. Yet they also left in a telling scene in which cousin marriage, the norm in the region, was duly examined, laughed and sneered at by the di Caprio character to uncomfortable giggles among the audience.

So you know what you are getting. Not the original reasonably well-reviewed film but one which has been hacked, not well re-edited and qualitatively different to what you were supposed to be getting. Perhaps for the oh so super-sensitive children of the Gulf it should be retitled The Wolf of Wall Street - The Hypocrite's Cut?

Just a thought.

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