Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street (2023)

Title: Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street

Year: 2023

Genre:  Crime | Documentary |

Seasons: 1|

Runtime:  249 min

Director: Joe Berlinger

Starring:   Joseph Scotto, Donna Pastorello, Melony Feliciano

7.4/10

With an innovative visual approach, Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street is a four-part edge-of-your-seat financial thriller that reveals the truth behind Bernie Madoff’s infamous multibillion-dollar global Ponzi scheme and the ways in which a willfully blind financial system allowed it to flourish for decades.

PROLONGED WITH NO SUBSTANCE

Joe Berlinger’s Radical Media’s new production of four episodes about Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street is another docuseries filled with talkies that don’t deliver on the substance of the matter. It’s another parasite of Berlinger’s repertoire with Netflix.

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Every year, it seems like Berlinger returns with a new docu-series. It’s either a crime and murder or a financial and fraud documentary expanded on too many episodes to make the plot sophisticated. Berlinger is responsible for Conversations with A Killer of John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, and Jeff Dahmer. He has also produced Crime Scene that hasn’t delivered either the plot, production value, or genuine interest for the audience. He has succeeded with Conversations with A Killer because of the famous cases of serial killers that are fascinating.

This series of crime plots deal with a famous case, with a couple of experts, journalists, witnesses, or authors. It’s a straightforward red line that follows all his crime docuseries on Netflix. Some are better than others.  The main issue with Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street is the lack of substance. It struggles to keep the interest up and uses reenactment to illustrate the talkies point. Berlinger seems to love to use this despite the audience’s obnoxious feeling about it. This short mini-series would become far more watchable if not using reenactment and use archives to make the story far more authentic.

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The decision of having four episodes is too generous and could have been shortened to lesser episodes. We don’t need four hours to tell a story about a Wall Street businessman that was a fraudulent trader.  The use of an archive elevates the plot in a way and the authenticity that an actor resembling the subject can’t do. The music as always when it comes to this kind of mediocre docuseries remains dramatic, the sound editing is okay. The editing itself is slow paced and this could easily be better edited to achieve a better flow in the story.

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