The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) is a boisterous film with the loudest personality, from start to finish we are bombarded with rowdy characters who cannot wait to shove their success down your throat. Although that sounds intense and slightly unenjoyable the film is executed with such class and integrity that none of it is cringe worthy or embarrassing, every second is full of laugh out loud moments and unfathomable events. Watching you cannot believe that these events really happened to the infamous Jordan Belfort.
So basically, in 1987 Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) takes an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm but by the early 1990s Belfort founds his own firm, Stratton Oakmont. Joined by his trusted right hand man (Jonah Hill) and gang of dysfunctional brokers, Belfort makes a huge fortune by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. As his addiction to sex, drugs and money grows so does the FBI’s suspicions of his empire.
Let’s begin by saying Leonardo DiCaprio is an absolute show stopper in this film, his characters journey must have challenged him so much as an actor. Upholding a constant persona of the real Jordan Belfort whilst constantly jumping from a strong businessman to a drugged up idiot. His ability as an actor always thrills me, I love to watch as he throws himself into a role and is completely believable even when he’s drooling and semi-unconscious because he has taken too many drugs. His co-stars Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey and Margot Robbie all hold themselves very well, they all represent their characters in brilliant and captivating ways but Leo ultimately steals the show every time.
At the end of the day the director gets the final say and Martin Scorsese did not miss a single moment, he perfected every shot and perfected every angel. He utilised that camera and got the audience right into the action, every scene in the Stratton Oakmont head-quarters I felt like I was there. I was positioned right in the centre of it all and I loved that attention to detail, the film revolves around the sense of stress and intensity and Scorsese nailed that very feeling by placing us right in it every time the characters felt it.
I have seen a lot of Scorsese films and I admire him more as a director after watching this film again. Scorsese loves a good gangster movie with minimal room for humour, that is why I loved this change for him. This film is comedy gold, everything the characters do it funny, whether it’s so cringe worthy we cannot help but laugh or it’s so extravagant that we cannot believe it was real! Raging Bull (1980) and Goodfellas (1990) are two of my most cherished films, if a character tells a joke in those films they die and that is why I was so surprised that Scorsese proved that he can do comedy and that he can do it bloody well too!
I could go on about the story itself because it is just so brilliantly told but of course all of that credit goes to Jordan Belfort himself, the film was based off his book ‘Way of the Wolf’ which told his life story to the world. I was shocked to find out all of the content of this film actually happened, he had a very interesting life and I hope he thinks Scorsese did it justice.
Overall, this film engages me every time. It is a long film, you have to stay with it in the slower scenes but trust me the whole thing is genius. The acting, the cinematography and especially the narrative all co-inside in order to make a jaw-dropping, spectacular film.
9/10 probe points