Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is a film dedicated to the epic showdown of the delights and dangers of uncontrollably bad, and money obsessed behaviour. It is also proves that the Oscar winning, 71-year-old director has so much energy and vitality to burn. Especially if this film is anything to go by.

Martin Scorsese’s new film is based on the autobiography of Jordan Belfort, a broker who made a fortune on the shifty sales of penny stocks. This lifestyle allowed him to spend a fortune on a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of drugs, sex, and a variety of other self-indulges and this energized and luxurious lifestyle goes on for a grand total of three hours, and I wouldn’t have it any shorter.

The story line in The Wolf of Wall Street sticks pleasingly close to Belfort’s own perspective as his tantalizing voice guides the action from start to finish, but alongside this is Scorsese’s direction that captures Belfort’s raunchy yet dynamic behavior. Scorsese plunges deep into the world of provocative behaviour as we see this shockingly furious energy intertwined with a spiraling and plunging camera, typical of Scorsese. The fun doesn’t end there, it continues to please us with eye-catching special effects, money-spinning fantasies and magnificent cast choreography of a grand scale. All of which is introduced to highlight the protagonist’s point of view. Belfort’s narration is embedded amongst living in the midst of it and addressing the viewers with a clean cut, word-for-word monologue in and around the event, but most of all, it presents two selves, his present and his former self, both of which we actually like.

…Scorsese’s fifth collaboration with DiCaprio and quite easily sits amongst his many award-winning creations…

The Wolf of Wall Street is Scorsese’s fifth collaboration with DiCaprio and quite easily sits amongst his many award-winning creations, as if it was always supposed to be there. It is clean, it is typical (soundtrack and the roaming camera) and it is a laugh-out-loud comedic film.

Only Scorsese could create a film so furious and energetic with cinematic inventions, which are essential to the story, but at the same time, it has a view of predatory manipulations and completely reckless adventures without even the tiniest amount of culpability. Like most of Scorsese’s films, the movie has a sharp rhythmic swing, much the same like listening to a jazz band in an underground club with no escape, but the stylistic and wild performances that ooze out from the cast are exhilarating, and balance well with the soundtrack, as usual.

…an actor with immense passion and impressionism…

DiCaprio plays Belfort and as we are all too familiar with, we know and appreciate how DiCaprio puts his soul into a performance, but with Belfort he was able to lose all inhibitions and let it all go, elbows-out, knee-deep and it was the liveliest most adrenaline-charged performance I have seen from him yet. DiCaprio has always been an actor with immense passion and impressionism, and his talent only grows, yet in most of his films, he has to mimic another person and he does so with grace and with competence. In The Wolf of Wall Street he leaves this all behind as he takes full control, unleashing this stunning spontaneous burst of energy that sears through the screen, much like a bull seeing red. He obliterates the preconception we have of Belfort and replaces it with improvisation coated with gestures of realistic reflections.

Although we can go on and on about Scorsese and DiCaprio, we cannot even begin to forget the cast of The Wolf of Wall Street who subsequently make this film what it is. Jonah Hill, who we often associate with slapstick comedies, gives an unforgettable performance as Donnie Azoff, Belfort’s main partner and friend, but mainly partner in corruption and pleasure; then we have the marvelous Rob Reiner, as Belfort’s father ‘Mad Max’ known for his outrageous temper and annoyance at Belfort’s way of running things; we are then happily given Margot Robbie, who plays Naomi Lapaglia, Belfort’s mistress and then second wife whose performance was mesmerizing, and then we get that happy surprise of Matthew McConaughey, in a sad but brilliant brief role as Belfort’s first mentor, although I have to say I was hoping he would come back during the finale side of the film. The cast, put together by Scorsese brings together a glitzy and laud caliber of talent, who’s each performance adds to the flamboyant nature of the film.

…a unique and penetrating look into how greed can corrupt us…

Although the film is long, which for me isn’t at all a downside, the film is never dull, thanks to marvelous performances all round, but mainly to DiCaprio, whose performance should be a front-runner for an Academy Award for his extravagant performance. In general, turning prose into cinema is challenging and exciting, and having to turn words into reality is a hard job by any standard, but we appreciate this and it matters to us which is why we wouldn’t want anyone other than Scorsese to do this for us. The Wolf of Wall Street is a unique and penetrating look into how greed can corrupt us, but it is put to us in a way that is lucrative and obsessive, that by at the end of it, we still wish we had the experiences of Jordan Belfort, even if we know the difference between right and wrong.

Med_4_5 Stars4.5 Stars

 

 

About The Author

I'm Katie and am a graduate from Canterbury Christ Church University with a first degree in Film and TV with Digital Media. I am a scriptwriter with experience in front and behind the camera and also a digital media lover who enjoys writing blogs, reviews and articles to help others grasp new information which can sometimes be lacking elsewhere. I enjoy writing about anything that has an effect on peoples likes and dislikes, usually technology, arts, media and of course, film.

4 Responses

  1. Carson

    My question is — is this movie doing anything new? At this point, “white Wall Street conmen experience meteoric rise and disgraceful plummet, as accompanied by prostitutes and drugs; cause us to question our own social values” isn’t new ground to tread. In a year where we had some pretty cool and unusual things happening in mainstream cinema (an animated “princess” movie where the most important relationship was between two sisters, a space thriller whose face was a middle-aged woman, a high-grossing action movie starring a young woman, a sci-fi blockbuster where 2/3 leads were NOT white men, a female buddy-cop movie), this just seems….tired. And honestly, nothing in this review is making me think the movie is going to ask any questions that haven’t been asked a million times, in similar explorations. Pass, sorry.

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  2. Marissa Celinetti

    Nope, I wouldn’t recommend the film to anyone. The wolf of wall street is bad. Not because it’s provocative but because it’s disgusting and offensive for no reason. Its misogyny is not an exposure or a critique, it’s a display. The message it pretends to be sending is just an excuse for the provocation that will guarantee some eyeballs, it doesn’t really criticize what it is portraying in any meaningful way nor does it expose how harmful it is to the women surrounding its ahole protagonist, who is the only one that matters and the consequences for him are the only consequences that matter. All that stays with you are the images of women used as objects, like in porn and this guy having a good time until he is not. They simply make sure that the film leaves an impression to boost its oscar chances even if that impression is through meaningless, misogynistic, degrading imagery and language. Bothering to critique or expose the injustice of things must be too much for the dumb audience they assume they have I guess

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  3. Ella-Joan Sanderson

    I disagree with comments above. I watched it a few days ago and thought it was brilliant. I’ve read the book and when I watched the film I couldn’t believe how exact it was to the book. I’m not a film buff, but if we take aside this is based on a real life experiences and watch it for the direction, production and acting. It really is remarkable and the comment above that states “too much for dumb audience they assume they have.” It wouldn’t be up for an oscar if it didn’t have any audience members but eh, each to their own. You don’t have to like it, but you can’t deny the acting was second to none. I’d defo recommend this to others though, really good.

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