Contains no wolves. There are some walls and streets however.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, etc…
Director: Martin Scorsese
Runtime: 179 minutes
Plot: The Wolf of Wall Street follows the real-life exploits of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), following his rise to the top of Wall Street, starting from a small company, creating one of the most prolific in the USA. This was done however through many illegal deeds; The Wolf of Wall Street chronicles the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort and his workers.
Scorsese’s newest (and longest) film is quite the showstopper, never before have I seen a film with such a vision for grandiose hedonism. This truly is one of the most excitingly refreshing films I have seen in a long time. In fact, the hedonistic aspect of this film (the majority of it) has turned off as many people as it has on; and it starts right from the offset, with Matthew McConaughey advising our young Belfort (Dicaprio) to have lots of sex and drugs in order to succeed – this then proceeds to fill the majority of the films 3-hour runtime.
It’s not in what we see that makes the film fantastic, it’s in how it is shown. Scorsese and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto have crafted an exquisite masterpiece that is not afraid to break the rules. Throughout the film we are treated to personal conversations from Belfort, who addresses the audience and explains the ins and outs of his world to us mere onlookers to the magnificent madness that is his world.
Every shot in the film is expertly crafted, making The Wolf of Wall Street one of the most visually stunning films I have seen since Skyfall. You expect this from Scorsese’s work, but he and Pietro have outdone themselves, Wall Street is a visual treat. Holding these luscious visuals together is a fantastic edit and soundtrack that fit both the slower moments and drug-filled moments in a stupendous fashion. You may be thinking now that perhaps there is no substance to the film, just good visuals and drugs, you couldn’t be more wrong.
The Wolf of Wall Street is constantly working away, perhaps more behind the scenes than most other films, but this is just another great aspect of the film – it takes a while to truly kick in after you leave the cinema. This is achieved through a perfectly paced film that shoots barrages of hilarious moments at you, all while working towards a traditional Greek tragedy. It’s very clever, building up a consistent threat to Belfort (mainly through himself), all while throwing you off balance with yet another joke that hits or yet another pair of breasts – we are not meant to like what they are doing, but instead be shocked and appalled by the ridiculous behaviour these grown men are showing; they are all disgusting, but you can’t help laugh with them as well as at them.
This brings me on to a warning: The Wolf of Wall Street is not for those easily offended by drugs, sex, swearing and dwarf-abuse (one scene in particular has the main cast discussing what you can and cannot do with a dwarf). I feel however, that the films obscene nature is a key reason why it is so good; it revels in it and doesn’t pull any punches – it’s refreshing to see a film with such a nonchalant attitude to such things. But yeah, this is not for the prudish.
However, I can’t help but shake the idea that the ending falls a little flat; we are given such a good build-up in the latter hour of the film to an ending that doesn’t feel like quite the pay-off we deserve, it doesn’t feel like Belfort gets the comeuppance he deserved, I understand that to show this the film would need to be a few minutes longer, but what are a few minutes in a film that is already 179 minutes long?
You’re probably reading this review and wondering why I have not mentioned the acting, this is because the acting is the icing on the cake, In fact, The Wolf of Wall Street contains so many stellar performances that I won’t bore you with the details, all I will say is this; Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill deserve many, many awards for their performances in this film, both have such an ability for comedy acting in a more serious film it’s scary. To only pinpoint these two actors is a disservice to the film, the entire cast is incredible, there are no weak performances to be found and everyone plays their part perfectly.
The Wolf of Wall Street is unlike any other film you have ever seen; it’s disgusting, ridiculously unsuitable for anyone and wins the award for the most boobs in a major film. Beyond the obvious though, Scorsese’s hilarious and brutal portrayal of Wall Street is a visionary masterpiece that any self-acknowledging film fan has to see. Wow.
A film that is not for the prudish, but utterly fantastic in every way, despite the slightly flat ending.