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Application of Laura Mulvey's Arguments in Visual Pleasure (Movie Review Sample)


Application of Laura Mulvey's arguments in visual pleasure and narrative cinema to the wolf of the wall street's male gaze

Application of Laura Mulvey’s arguments in Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema to the Wolf of the Wall Street’s male gaze
The Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema is the work of Laura Mulvey that was influenced by theoretical works of Jacques Lacan and Sigmund Freud. That work helped in advancing film theory orientation towards a psychoanalytic framework. In her piece of work, Mulvey uses concepts of Lacan and Freud as a political weapon where she argues that spectators are put in a subject masculine position by the cinematic apparatus of classical Hollywood cinema (Mulvey 1). This argument arises from the aspect of a woman's figure appearing on screen as the object of desire.
How it is linked to the Wolf of the Wall Street’s male gaze
The Wolf of the Wall Street is the work of Martin Scorsese that shows the trend of a real life finance scam involving Jordan Belfort, who is an artist and narrated by DiCaprio. The story indicates how Jordan moved from small time penny-stock trader to the point of forming Stratton Oakmont that is among the largest brokerage firms on the Wall Street. After the amassing sizable amount of wealth Jordan develops a following similar to a cult, he also introduces questionable stocks to investors to amass more wealth. Later he begins the practice of money laundering and stock manipulation that gives him and his colleagues the pride that drives them to indulge in drugs, sex, and weird behavior (Herbst 1). The film depicts women as playthings meant to entertain and give rich men like Jordan pleasure. This essay shows how the Mulvey's Visual pleasure and narrative cinema arguments are used in the Wolf of the Wall Street's male gaze.
Positioning of the gaze
The gaze appears in various forms, first of all; the gaze positions itself as a political use of psychoanalysis. The woman is undermined throughout the narrative and cinema forming a patriarchal society. The woman is used as a signifier for the male bound by a symbolic order. A man uses the woman to fulfill his fantasies and obsessions via linguistic command by imposing them on the silent image of a woman who remains tied to her place as the bearer of meaning. The narrative cinema shows men to be in charge of a major decision in the society and brings out women as objects that should follow what they are told to do by men (Mulvey 1). The whole narrative does not take into account the tribulations that women undergo because as long as men are well taken care of by women the society everything is assumed to be okay.
The gaze is also positioned as a narration of pleasure derived from looking at sexually stimulating images of women's genitals in what is termed as Scopophilia "love of looking". The narrative cinema also brings out the love of looking as an aspect of selfishness that only considers one group that comprises of those watching while it neglects the moral rights of those exposing their genitals. The narrative also brings out sexual imbalance as an order of the day in the society (Mulvey 2). A woman comes out as a traditional exhibitionist that should be looked at, what the heroine provokes is what counts most, and hence she has no importance at all.
A woman comes out as an erotic object for the spectator within the auditorium and also as an automatic erotic object for the characters within the screen story. The narrative brings out man as the one who makes things happen where he identifies with the main male protagonist. The film opens with the woman being an inferior object; she is isolated and sexualized. However, as the narrative goes on she falls in love with the male protagonist and forms part of his property (Mulvey 2). That makes her outward glamorous characteristics, show-girl connotations and sexuality to fade away. The spectator also gets the opportunity to possess her through participation in his power. Eventually, the dominant look of the male protagonist is broken to favor the image that is in direct erotic rapport with the spectator. The usage of a woman's beauty as an object disappears, and she comes out as a perfect product.
How the gaze can be subverted by Wolf of the Wall Street’s male gaze
Wolf does not say anything interesting concerning the women who inhabit the world of Jordan. Barbie doll figures, strippers, and hookers merely act as props to please the male protagonist as they continue with their awkward behaviors that make them laugh. The entire story shows how women were marginalized on the Wall Street trading floors through the scenes of prostitutes and parading of strippers. The Wall Street's male gaze subverts the Mulvey's narration and cinema in that it is more extreme; the film displays female bodies that are naked or barely clothed indicating the shaven or waxed private parts. Body parts such as breasts, shimmying bottoms and stilettos are openly exposed and it appears like the Wall Street machismo is seducing the filmmakers who criticized them before (Herbst 2). Unlike in Mulvey's narration cinema, the Wolf of the Street is mainly dominated by the male gaze. Hollywood manipulates visual pleasure to create magic coding erotic into the language dominated by patriarchal order.
Naomi (Margot Robbie) who is the main female actor meets Jordan wearing skintight mini dress containing a cutout that reveals each part of her breast. When men are alerted to look at her by Stratton associates at the party, anticipation amongst men grows. As she flashes a dazzling smile before the camera men run wild with one man confessing he would rather contact Aids but sleep with her and another confessing he would sleep with her even if she were his sister. Donnie masturbates when he lands his eyes on half naked Naomi and in return bemused Naomi laughs at him
The overall point of view (POV) of the Narrative
The narrative mainly focuses on addressing the gender disparity that exists in the society. Throughout the narrative man is the main protagonist who makes things work out. Furthermore, women seem not to have as specified role in the society but instead they are meant to make life more enjoyable for men. Thus, the narrative aims at bringing out the wrong beliefs that the society continue to cling on in an attempt to help people see the reality. The story seems so boring until women emerge and stimulates the audience. That strongly communicate the acting talent women have compared to men (Mulvey 3). Furthermore, that should tell men that indeed women can do better than them in many aspects of life in the society. The narrative, therefore, aims at revealing the hidden truth in efforts to convince the community to change their attitude towards women.
Construction of gender notions
Gender notions come out to indicate that men are more important in the society than women, and that is why in the Wolf of the Wall Street Naomi seems to lack a future of her own. After giving a blowjob to Jordan in his Lamborghini, she talks of maintainin...
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