Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Wolfie! Wolfie! Wolfie! Wolfie!! Woohoo!

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) simplifies the uberpaced life on the wall street by showing how to create a pump-and-dump “trading” business  with a bunch of no-gooders, and in the process, snorting his and many others’ way to a big money, decadent lifestyles, wine women drugs and glory.

The story of Jordan Belfort is out there, in his own words, for those who want to read it. The penny-stock-broker-swindler-sales-guru, has been the subject of two movies now, and is the inspiration for many, I’d think. His was a life of excesses. And hence, it makes for great storytelling. The exaggerated sex, drugs and money – its all interesting. Its an anti-hero, and like most sinful guilty pleasures, there is joy in rooting for the perceived villain who seems to be winning all the time. In a way, Belfort represents our own deeper darker desires.

Back to the movie, the stamp of Scorcese is there, and the movie is undeniably funny almost all throughout. The narration in some of the serious moments of movie can make you fall off the chair, especially scenes like the one where Jordan crawls to his car after ODing on Lemmons 714. The cast is super-awesome, with Donnie (Jonah Hill) worth a million bucks, and Max Belfort, Brad, Rugrat and others adding to almost every scene’s worth. Matthew McConaughey in a short cameo is great fun.

DiCaprio pulls off another oscar-nomination-worthy performance. Though, I often got a feeling of a repeat. A feeling that I had seen this act before. That over-emphasized dialogue delivery, those expressions. I didn’t see anything new.

The best thing about the movie is the clarity with which each of the part-characters is developed. You can’t but not notice how the decadent soullessness of Jordan and Donnie is different from that of others like Rugrat, Pinhead, Chester and Brad.

The downer of the movie is its length. At a full 3 hours, with about 150 minutes of drugs, profanity, and zoned out conversations, there are several times when the movie seems to be stretching thin. The dragged out relationship with Naomi, the multiple identical looking scenes on the trading floor, etc. slow the movie down. There is also an overdose of the overdose. The drugs seem to be the central prop running throughout the movie. Naomi could have been a good counterfoil, but she is not.

The chopped off scenes might have made me understand the movie a little differently, but nevertheless. Wolfie is shameless fun to watch, and Belfort is that poster that you’d want to but will never put on the wall.

I’d go with a 4 on 5 for this one.

 

 

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

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