Director : Martin Scorsese
Cast Headliners: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Jon Bernthal, Matthew McConaughey
Original Release Date: December 25th, 2013
Ah, the stock market. The real Wall Street is a high energy world of big money being moved around and many people moving around huge rooms. As Michael Douglas once said in a very similarly titled film however, “greed is good.” The Wolf of Wall Street both provides an often heard of but seldom seen side of the stocks, as well as provoking some interesting thoughts about what money can do to people.
Jordan Belfort is the main character of the film, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The film’s plot uses some interesting time jumps, portraying Jordan’s rise then fall then rise again through the world of the Wall Street stock markets. His company Stratton-Oakmont evolves along with him, going from something small and rough into an empire. It is an empire built on lies though. Jordan is not a good man at all and is incredibly conniving, egotistical, and most of all greedy. For sure the main point of commendation should be given to DiCaprio here. He is awesome, with incredible range and charisma. He is just simply firey as he plays Jordan falling into the vices of any rich businessman: sex, drugs, and rock and roll with a massive emphasis on both of the first two. The film has a shocking amount of partying, narcotic-isation, and fornication taking place. But from the darkest of debaucheries to the most zany of shenangins, DiCaprio lights up the screen with his words from this fascinating character. He delivers strongly, but the supporting cast isn’t too shabby either with the equally insane characters of Mark Hanna (played in a unfortunately brief appearance by Matthew McConaughey), Donnie(Jonah Hill), Brad Bodnick(Jon Bernthal) and many more. It seems that everyone in the cult of personality that is built around Jordan at Stratton-Oakmont is a wild hedon, and it makes for some great chuckles and a form of spectacle.
The humor comes from the great dialogue, as expected from a Martin Scorsese film. Scorsese has created a fast-paced movie in both its words and its filming. So many witty words are said in this movie, with most conversations feeling heated as they should. It’s impressive that stocks, an arguably boring subject, is made into a very thrilling experience, almost like a bank robbery heist, fittingly so considering how Jordan manipulates his victims. There is also some great moments of extreme insanity that must be seen, quaaludes are a hell of a drug as there’s this one paticuliar part involving them that is an knee slapping outrageous display of both Scorsese’s direction and DiCaprio’s acting.
The quality of Scorsese is felt but that editing wasn’t one hundred percent perfect however. The Wolf of Wall Street was supposed to come out a month before its original release date, apparently facing a problem of having way too much content filmed. And so to fix it, it was delayed to cut it down to improve it since the original draft is said to have been over well over 4 hours long. The print in theaters is at about an exact three hours, and it can be said that maybe more things should have been trimmed. It seems like the “first part” of the plot takes way longer than the exciting twists near the end, so while I don’t really know what could have been done maybe that is because of some behind the scenes work Scorsese had to juggle with. This is only a minor grievance however, as all plot points are explained and followed through. There’s just really “so much” to the film that it can be overwhelming. An example would be many nearly identical scenes of raucousness, we get the point Scorsese.
What this film is though is a solid Wall Street story, and of this Jordan fellow. It is a mostly great example of an “anti-hero.” It is held mainly up by Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s a long crawl, but by the end it is very much worth it. 8.75 out of 10