Jordan Belfort: Let me tell you something. There's no nobility in poverty. I've been a poor man, and I've been a rich man. And I choose rich every fucking time.
Martin Scorsese is a filmmaking legened. Leo DiCaprio is fast becoming one at that as well. This dynamic duo have proven to us time and time again, movie after movie, that they work wonders together and that when you sit down for a screening in one of their films, you should be prepared to be razzle dazzled.
So what is it that makes 'The Wolf of Wall Street' a piece of remarkable filmmaking? Is it the snorting cocaine of a drug Wall Street addict? Is it his exessive sexcapades? Or is it his overwhelming greed for money? In my opinion, it's none of the above. Although all of the above are widely futured in this film, none of these really play a key role to what Scorsese and DiCaprio are trying to create; the goal is the absolute transfixion of the viewer. No more, no less.
Let us not stall too much ahead and get on with what the plot's about: This is the real life story (yet again this year) of Jordan Belfort, a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 36 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scam that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including shoe designer Steve Madden. (source: www.imdb.com)
The admiration of this film comes from the empowring cast and crew throughout, scene in and scene out, to give us a masterful picture - if you will - of what really goes down at the other side of the grass. Despite the film running on a usual Martin Scorsese time duration - 3 hours long - you never miss a scene where DiCaprio won't be flaring up his acting stamina and battle away each scene like it was yesterday's chinese leftovers. His growth and resilience in recreating Jordan Belfort is something of a mastermind genius; I'm mostly talking of course of this horrendously hilarious scene where he has to crawl from the casino place to his car, all the while being as high as the Empire Estate building (aka on cocaine as it was his vice).
Overacting is a must in this film. Going all out and giving it, not the best but your super powers best, was what makes this film memorable. The endless dialogue about making and conning out money is an absolute thrill to wrap one's mind around. To come full circle in this bombardic cast comes as the cherry on the cake, a Mr. Jonah Hill, who throughout the years he's proven a most capable comedian and an actor who's not in the least bit ashamed of giving physical acting a kick in the head. Again, I'm talking about the much-buzzed about scene of Hill mustarbating in one of the infamous parties of Belfort, going as far as to show off his goodies to the entire filmosphere. Of course, by all means the penis was a flook but the scene got its thumbs up for its daringness and provocative attitude.
A very intriguing guest appearance comes to give another one of those Scorsese razzle-dazzle moments, with Matthew McConaguhey being the man who started it all for DiCaprio's character; his first money-grabbing-lying-addict-piece-of-two-time-egomaniac-mentor, who first introduced him to this world of power and endless greed. And there again you have the brilliance of Scorsese letting his actors overpower the screen with their wit and their impending improvisation. Once more, I am talking of course of the famous scene where McConaguhey's character first wines and dines DiCaprio's character, whilst teaching him all the tricks and turns of what it takes to make it to Wall Street. A little bit of musical humming proves none so fatal on screen, as this is - and you have my sincerest word on that - the scene that initiates it all. You're hooked after that.
Admittedely, and as I like to be as frank as possible when reviewing films out there, I will say this was not a film that I could brand as 'my-cup-of-tea'. Far from it actually. But given the history and the desperation both in the acting and the direction, I relented and really went in wanting to give this film a chance. Despite the overwhelming views and buzz this film has been receiving, both for acting and script material, I must admit that by the end of the film I was left high and dry as it did not give me the full satisfaction I went in seeking for.
It's all nice and good to be wanting to be razzle-dazzled but when it's too much, it gets overbearing and overboard. This is what happened here; everything was in such an excess that it felt jaded and overstuffed at various points throughout the film. Kinda like a beef turkey on Thanksgiving; too much for just one day of feasting. I am of the opinion that, whoever said that 'toning it down' and 'simple is best', knew exactly what he was talking about.
Of course, lest we forget ourselves, this is a Scorsese film we are talking about, and toning it down, is not a phrase one might find in his filmmaking vocabulary. The passion and the zeal of treatment in this story is what truly gives it wings to take off, and it seems that it most certainly did fly as it reached all the way to the Academy Awards as a Best Picture Film and with Oscar nod nomations in categories such as Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and last, but not at all and not in the slightest very least, Best Achievement in Directing.
If you haven't yet indulged yourselves in this particular cup of tea, you have been warned; be prepared for most about everything!!! And most of all be prepared to witness some foxy full frontal scenes with a rising star on the go, Ms Margot Robbie, who's proven that being sexy can be both by wit or by having a killer body figure. Watch out for that!
Hope you enjoy this filmmaking Colossus!
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)