Greed, greed and a shit load of fun: The Wolf Of Wall Street is without doubt one of the most riotously entertaining films in recent memory. The Wolf Of Wall Street, the fifth collaboration between director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, depicts the true story of Jordan Belfort, a stock swindler active during the 1980s and 1990s. At the height of Belfort’s powers, he was earning $49 million a year, which Belfort said at the opening of the film “really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week”.
That quote summarises quite a lot about The Wolf Of Wall Street. Greed. Excess. This film is full of it. From the off, Scorsese has DiCaprio launching dwarfs at a dartboard in the offices of his company Stratton Oakmont. Even with an enormous running time of around three hours, the film blasts along at a rapid pace, with all of its hedonistic and debaucherous antics in tow. Get ready for a lot of nudity and drugs. And that means a lot. Orgy on a 747? Check. DiCaprio snorting cocaine out of a prostitues bum? Check. Jonah Hill pleasing his gentleman sausage in the middle of a party? Unfortunately (but hilariously) check. The Wolf Of Wall Street has Scorsese off of the fucking chain, coming out no holds barred swinging left and right.
And that includes letting DiCaprio off said chain – this really is the actor at his very best. Just look at the motivational speech he gives to his employees midway through the film. It’s animalistic, and also a bloody good justification of DiCaprio’s recent Golden Globes win and Bafta/Oscar nominations. And the word ‘animalistic’ perfectly describes much of the outrageous behaviour going on in this film. Some of the scenes are utterly mental.
Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie and Matthew McConaughey are rallied in for supporting roles, and they are all excellent, and also very funny. This is without doubt the funniest, and least violent Scorsese movie in recent memory. But it is worth wondering, with all the hyper-masculinity on show here, is Scorsese celebrating Belfort and his antics – or mocking them? A lot of criticism has been thrown at Scorsese for glorifying Belfort’s behaviour, but it’s difficult to agree.
For instance, one scene has a particularly amped-up male employee smashing a baseball bat against the ground in the office and screaming until he breaks it in half, to which he celebrates by howling and beating his chest. This seems like a mockery of the hyper-masculinity the film shamelessly parades.
Additionally, Belfort is exceedingly hateful. He is more despicable than Mel Gibson during his anti-Semitic heyday. Scorsese shows Belfort for what he is, not by celebrating him, but bringing him into the light as the greedy, misogynistic, selfish, egotistical, drug and sex addicted psychopath that he is.And DiCaprio does a sublime job of portraying him.
The Wolf Of Wall Street is an excellent film. Despite Scorsese’s age, he is still able to produce a film as furiously energetic and enjoyable as this. Readers, get down on your hands and knees, and praise him. 10/10 Lucas Fothergill