“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Leonardo Dicaprio in The Wolf Of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort: My name is Jordan Belfort. The year I turned 26, I made 49 million dollars which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week.

What can I say about The Wolf of Wall Street? It has sex, alcohol, and is a billboard for how drugs apparently fuel Wall Street. Martin Scorsese let Leonardo DiCaprio run free in this film, and he knocked that concept out of the park.

If you haven’t seen the trailer or promos (are you living under a rock?) for The Wolf of Wall Street then let me explain to you what this film is about. A New York stock broker by the name of Jordan Belfort rises to the top of his deceitful craft and takes over the Wall Street game by storm. He initially enters a prestigious firm and works his way up from nothing. He gets training from Mark Hanna who is brilliantly played by Matthew McConaughey. After that firm crashes, Belfort decides to join a penny-stock “firm” which essentially is a hole in the wall; and transforms that into a multi-million dollar venture with his gang of misfits. Belfort refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case that includes mob infiltration into Wall Street and the corporate banking world.

This is a Scorsese film, so keep in mind I went into this with the highest of expectations. That’s really not my fault; I blame Scorsese for being so brilliant.

The film runs three hours and has more positives than negatives.

Positives:

-          The Cast: Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio have incredible chemistry in this film. You will notice the film can easily be categorized a comedy because of the irresponsible shenanigans that take place. These two misfits make so much money; they don’t know how to handle it. The characters they play are fun, dumb, and oddly successful.

-          Scorsese Undertones: Anything directed by Scorsese has certain connections. In this film it’s less blood and more character development. Scorsese is relentless in showing how brilliantly dumb Belfort’s character is. He’s a drug addict, a sex addict, and all around jerk as his character develops.  You can see certain Scorsese angles throughout the film, and specific scenes feel nostalgic.

-         Scorsese works well with a big cast. His stories usually focus on character involvement. In an odd way you start to accept the fact that the group Belfort has, fits his personality like a glove. It’s a filthy bunch that Scorsese has made memorable. You wouldn’t be friends with them, but you get why they do what they do.

Negatives:

-          Tone: If you’re comfortable with shrewd and vulgar settings then this film is filled with them. It’s a consistent flow of drugs, sex, and testosterone driven baboons. I can only imagine how awkward that set could have been. It pushes the rated “R” line significantly, and it’s no secret DiCaprio is a shy actor. Keeping that in perspective, he broke through his shell in Oscar fashion. Unfortunately I don’t see DiCaprio bringing home a golden statue for this one, but he will get one before his career is in the books.

-          IT’S THREE HOURS LONG! The duration of the film doesn’t surprise me, but did the overall film demand three hours… I don’t think so. It’s fun watching DiCaprio and Hill get into silly situations, but I thought the proverbial bubble would burst a lot sooner. It’s easy to forget that the film is about Jordan Belfort, and not about how Wall Street practices as a whole.

If you’re a Scorsese fan I certainly do suggest you take your wallet to the box-office and spend $10 on this movie. Just be prepared for a film that’s driven by everything society frowns upon. Wall Street has quickly become the bully of this nation. The Wolf of Wall Street further pads the idea that Wall Street is a conniving, and deceitful concept that you get sucker punched into. We all want to get rich, but how far are you willing to go for money?

As Belfort so eloquently put it…..“Sell me this pen.”

wolf-of-wall-street04

Trivia for you movie buffs via IMDB:

Matthew McConaughey improvised the scene when his character hums while beating his chest. In fact, through much of the movie, dialogue was repeatedly improvised,

Martin Scorsese’s fifth collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio.

The first Martin Scorsese film to be shot with anamorphic lenses since Bringing Out the Dead (1999).

Although this was originally announced as Martin Scorsese’s first non-3D movie to be shot entirely digitally, it ended up being mostly shot on film.

Chris Evans and Joseph Gordon-Levitt auditioned for a role.

On the first day of production, the handle of a prop briefcase being carried by Leonardo DiCaprio broke and almost caused the actor to be hit by a period car on set.

Ridley Scott was offered to direct this movie.

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