The Wolf of Wall Street: Review

Martin Scorsese’s most recent work, The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the award winning novel by Jordan Belfort, wowed audiences all around the United States when it was released on December 25th, 2013..

The story, narrated by a rising stockbroker, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), involves his at times comical journey to succeed on Wall Street, and years later his not-so-glamorous downfall. Once Belfort established himself on Wall Street via fraud his life takes a turn towards Lamborghinis, beautiful mansions, yachts, and “babes.” In addition to the numerous advantages that come with being a multi-millionaire at age 26, Belfort deals with unemployment, drug abuse, unfaithfulness, divorce, and felony charges later on in life.

DiCaprio is sensational; it is easy to say that this is his most exotic and intriguing role yet. He captures the essence of the life of an ambitious businessman working on Wall Street more than accurately, making audiences laugh until their ribs hurt. Belfort is meant to be a deceitful womanizer, the reverse Robin Hood type, stealing to quench his own thirst for power. DiCaprio makes it hard for audiences to hate him, and they may even pity him after he loses nearly everything and is forced to become a motivational speaker. Perhaps audiences feel so acquainted with Belfort and his flashy lifestyle because of his almost conversational narration. With a duration of 180 minutes, the film keeps audiences laughing and at the edge of their seats from start to end. Nasir Ismail, a sophomore at LHS raves about DiCaprio’s acting. He states, “compared to his other roles [this character] was really different. Usually he plays some sort of civilized character, like in Titanic. This was really different because he was a lot more funny and at the same time very serious.”

There is no doubt that the film drops an excessive number of  F-Bombs, displays graphic nudity, and includes an excessive use of hardcore drugs. Viewers might find this excess a bit unrealistic, but it portrays Belfort’s savagery in a very peculiar way; he is merely a wolf in a suit hungry for success, and viewers are outsiders made insiders through his comical narrations. This may not be a relatable film for most, but it is highly entertaining and worth watching.