Boiler Room Theme Essay

Watch him weasel some valuable gossip from an old college friend (James Spader: Supernova) with a casual, “Come on, everybody’s doing it.” “Greed is good…

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GARDEN STATE PARKWAY - NIGHT Three luxury buses with blacked-out windows speed toward Atlantic City.

BUS - NIGHT (CONTINUOUS) SETH DAVIS stares out the window. No menacing physical presence but a sharpness that you feel right off.

The doors open as we approach, and the group enters. RICHIE Holy shit, that's the jockey from Venezuela.

A large group of managers are snorting coke off a glass coffee table. At least 30 guys are in front of the TV betting on a horse race.

Greed, Wall Street wants us to know in the end, isn’t good.

Boiler Room, on the other hand, accepts the reality of greed with resignation and assigns it a neutral value — it’s what we do with our sense of greed that makes it good or bad.Nowadays, though, you barely even hear the word greed anymore — now, it’s smart investing. Whenever a movie opens — as Boiler Room does — with a disclaimer that any real-life similarities to characters or situations contained therein are purely coincidental and wholly unintended, I tend to believe that any similarities are actually purely planned and wholly intentional. Seth (Giovanni Ribisi: Saving Private Ryan, The Postman) doesn’t know this when he joins the firm, though — he thinks he’s taking a job that will earn him the respect of his demanding, hard-to-please father (Ron Rifkin: The Negotiator, L. An upright criminal — he runs, almost as a community service, an illegal casino out of his Queens apartment — he doesn’t see through the layers of seeming legitimacy to the fraud underneath at first. Marlin doesn’t want experienced stockbrokers — the company wants its fresh blood to be as naïve and greedy as the investors it bilks, and it wants to immerse them in its aggressive, testosterone-charged atmosphere and inculcate them in the ways of their scam without ever letting them believe they’re doing anything wrong.I didn’t personally see anything suspiciously borrowed from reality myself, but Boiler Room has a such a frightening ring of truth to it that I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody somewhere was calling lawyers. It doesn’t help that the firm has a cultlike policy of separating its employees from the outside world — a recruiter for Marlin, played with canny sharkiness by Ben Affleck (Dogma, Shakespeare in Love), warns his new hires not to pay any attention to the family and friends who will warn them away from such a cutthroat job. Seth likens the environment at Marlin to a “Hitler youth rally,” and he’s not far off. The kind of guy who smiles shyly at the pretty receptionist, Abby (Nia Long: Stigmata), and knows the value of tender wooing, Seth doesn’t belong in a place where Abby is dismissed as a “whore” and “trouble” by Seth’s boss, Greg (Nicky Katt: One True Thing, Batman and Robin), once she trades him in for Seth.Sure, like Boiler Room’s Seth, Bud has issues with his dad, Carl (Martin Sheen: Monument Avenue) — but where Seth wants to get closer to his father, Bud wants distance from the old man.Good ol’ down-to-earth Carl: an airplane mechanic and union rep for Bluestar Airlines, he wonders why Bud doesn’t just move home to Queens if he’s struggling on his own in Manhattan. JT Marlin once again has unlimited trading authorization. Seth is sitting in an armchair with a drink in his hand. I want you all to know that those pikers at the NASD are finally off our ass. I want all of you guys from those teams to go up to suite 418. And that realistic attitude is a big part of what makes Boiler Room so refreshing: Younger doesn’t offer any pat, happy endings, doesn’t have all his characters wrap things up by kissing and making nice.The film ends on such an abrupt note — and such a perfect one — that I gasped with unexpected delight. I can’t wait to see what Younger has up his sleeve for us next. They wear very sharp suits: Hugo Boss, Armani, very slick. BUS - NIGHT (CONTINUOUS) Exterior shots of the casinos bring us into Bally's Grand. BALLY'S - NIGHT (CONTINUOUS) A top level manager for Bally's runs toward them.


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