But it is most of all Stroheim who rejects photographic expressionism and the tricks of montage. In his films reality lays itself bare like a suspect confessing under the relentless examination of the commissioner of police. He has one simple rule for direction. Take a close look at the world, keep on doing so, and in the end it will lay bare for you all its cruelty and its ugliness. One could easily imagine as a matter of fact a film by Stroheim composed of a single shot as long-lasting and as close-up as you like. - Andre Bazin, What is Cinema?
The finale shows how the characters are selfish assholes; it was an indictment of the people who sided with the characters' myopic narcissism. One can interpret the show, and the finale, as kind of a misanthropic comedy, equally critical of the protagonists' and the minor characters' selfishness.