Review: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Scorsese and DiCaprio team up for a fifth time to tell the tale of real life stockbroker Jordan Belfort, a name you're going to remember….

Acknowledging the hype surrounding this film, I knew I’d have to go and see it. Bearing in mind I’ve never seen that film where Michael Douglas plays that Wall Street bloke and I even got a little confused when Bane robbed that place with all the numbers in The Dark Knight Rises, so as you can guess, films about the stock market are not my forte. However, I watched this movie with an open mind and a concentrating look on my face, and, well I got through it. Okay, I liked it.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jordan Belfort, an upcoming stockbroker who moves to New York in 1987 to pursue his dream of becoming a rich man. When he realises that money is to be made from the cheapest stocks, providing he can sell them at high prices, Jordan sets up his own company with friend Donny (Jonah Hill) and some of his old friends. As their business grows and grows, Jordan and his glamorous new wife Naomi (Margot Robbie) live the millionaire lifestyle, but it’s not long before an FBI agent is on Belfort’s case and he can do nothing but watch his wealthy lifestyle collapse around him.

Now I can honestly say I’m not that clued up on Martin Scorsese’s films. I’d really like to be, and a lot of them are on my ‘to watch’ list, but so far in my life, I’ve only managed to watch The Departed, Shutter Island and Hugo (which by the way, was the most confusing out of the three). I enjoyed all three, and along with every other girl in the world, am a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, so this film seemed like an optimistic shot at an enjoyable three hours, and it was.

What I believe has made this movie so successful is the character of Jordan Belfort. Although he is an absolute arsehole, he’s a charming one, and that’s the key to making the audience sympathise with him. DiCaprio portrays his loud, flashy and obscene attitude towards life carefully and he certainly knows how to keep the audience onside, as they are given a tour of his excessive lifestyle (a notable mention to the cleverly written Lamborghini scene, no spoilers here though).

Most of the male population watching this film will want Jordan’s lifestyle. They’ll want his money, his house, his car, his wife (played by the stunning Robbie, in one of her first leading film roles after the ever so slightly less glamorous Neighbours). But even behind all this, I think the real Jordan Belfort would want his story to teach a lesson, a lesson about greed and how it is not a good trait, despite how lavishly his life is portrayed.

One thing I would say, is the 179 minute running time may be slightly too much for those who aren’t finding Belfort to be a nice guy, as he is on screen for 95% of the time. Scorsese could possibly have cut this down by twenty minutes or so, as there are a couple of scenes towards the end that feel slightly misplaced.

Overall, The Wolf of Wall Street is definitely worth a watch, the reviews aren’t wrong, and it is some of Scorsese’s best work. Leonardo might be looking at his first Oscar win, although he is against some stiff competition this year.

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