I've spent most of the week outlining ways to make money and do business. The notion of having my own business was reinforced by the movies I watched. Although somewhat unrealistic, these movies can be inspirational and motivate you to want to achieve what the protagonists have. Here is a list of some of my personal favourites, which potential investors and business people will appreciate.
The Wolf of Wall Street
This film is based on the true story of ex-stock broker Jordan Belfort and is an adaptation of his autobiography of the same name. Jordan is played by Leonardo di Caprio who narrates the story of success, conmen, drugs, sex and all the things which come with having too much money to spend. The character goes through two marriages and is intensely followed by the FBI, until the law finally catches up to him. His “downfall” begins, sadly after he decides to live a clean life and he is imprisoned for stock fraud.
The black comedy is fun to watch and the film’s quality is proven by the five Oscar nominations it received. Although some of us may not want to make the same mistakes and live that type of lifestyle, it is no lie that most of us wish that we had enough money to do with it as we please.
The Pursuit of Happyness
This film is based on the story of Chris Gardner, portrayed by Will Smith. After investing his life savings in bone density medical scanners, Gardner fails to sell them and make ends meet. His wife eventually leaves him and he is left to care for their son. The father and son pair struggle with homelessness for almost a year while Gardner completes an unpaid internship at the stock brokerage firm Dean Witter Reynolds, in hope of becoming a stock broker for them and realising his dream of financial success.
The movie is heart-breaking at times but truly inspirational. It teaches that you can do anything, regardless of your circumstances and what other people tell you.
Pirates of Silicon Valley
Two of the iconic technological brands of our time are Apple and Microsoft. Bill Gates has dominated the Forbes Rich List for much of the past two decades and Steve Jobs was one of the pioneers of the modern technology industry. The story of these two companies and their founders is one to take note of.
I initially wanted to place the 2013 film Jobs here but found it disappointing after watching it. Pirates of Silicon Valley tells a better story about not only Steve Jobs, but also about the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple. The plot follows the lives of Steve and Bill from their youth and as they grow their companies into large corporations.
This is another stock broker’s dream life and downfall movie as indicated in the title. It has become a classic since its release in 1987. The movie follows Bud Fox, a junior stockbroker, in his pursuit to follow in the footsteps of his hero Gordon Gekko. Fox is played by a young Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas made the role of Gekko famous. Fox commits securities fraud under Gekko’s influence. He later exposes Gekko’s role in the plot in exchange for lighter jail sentence after the authorities catch up with him. The movie shows that greed and corruption have their consequences. Money does not have to be made immorally and lying is not a necessity for success. If you want to find out what happens to Gekko in the future, you can also watch the recent sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
This is undoubtedly the best Bollywood movie I’ve seen. The 2008 film tells the story of Jamal Malik, a tea server at a local call centre and former street child. Jamal becomes a contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? He is one question away from the grand prize of 20 million rupees when he is interrogated by the police. The authorities suspect that Jamal is cheating as they find it unlikely that someone from a lower caste uneducated background would know the answers to the questions. Jamal’s life story is told in flashbacks in which he recounts incidents in which he learned the answer to each of the questions. Although entirely based on luck and chance happenings, the idea of a “slumdog” becoming a millionaire and the story of his quest is an inspirational one.
Other notable mentions include The Godfather, Boiler Room, Forrest Gump, Jerry Maguire, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Then when you are done watching movies, you can continue making money in real life.