The Wolf of Wall Street

This movie begins with Leonardo DiCaprio snorting coke out of a hooker’s arse. If this makes you recoil, then by the end of this film you will find yourself in the ‘cerebral palsy stage’. But if you don’t want to sweat out the ludes, then pitching a pen might awake you. Martin Scorcese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is sharper than the cut of its suits. It’s funny, filthy and always transfixing. And it will capture you, in some way.

Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) arrives on Wall Street married and ambitious. He finds work in a stockbroking firm, where is boss Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) gives him the lay of the land – greed, coke and masturbation. Following Black Monday, Belfort finds the holy grail in penny stocks, and with his ex-furniture salesman friend Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) he starts up his own firm, Stratton Oakmont Inc. Belfort’s pump and dump operations earn him the title of the Wolf of Wall Street, but there were no victims; not in this world.

This film is wretchedly hilarious. Whilst admittedly still playing the funny man, Jonah Hill gives a great performance. And Matthew McConaughey’s borderline cameo was nothing short of brilliant. Still looking sick from Dallas Buyers Club, it truly is a shame he did not play a greater role. Even Leo feels at home in this fast paced comedic plot. This laughter, however, softens the abundance of addiction.

The comedy moves us into the world of Stratton Oakmont – a world where despite the precariousness of life and soul, nothing can go wrong when you have money. The film’s believability is then suspended in the viewer’s perception of wealth. There are numerous scenes where Jordan plays on the heart strings of his employees. And within the context of the film, he does so successfully. But to me, it came across as hollow. At first, I saw this as a significant criticism of the film. But after speaking to others who quite enjoyed the film and were lost in it’s rapture, I realised something. That those who bought into the abundance, bought into the believability. And it’s fickle, but so, so true.

You could come out of this movie and think, well, that was fun. But the expected happened. And the characters did not learn. And you’d be right. But this is an old lesson. And still there were people. Everyday people, staring in hope at Jordan Belfort, wishing they could sell him that pen.

4/5 stars.

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