Thursday, January 23, 2014
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
In Martin Scorsese's 2013 black comedy/drama, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a young stockbroker, happily married, who has just arrived on Wall Street. After his firm fails on Black Monday, Jordan's aggressive style of pitching earns him a small fortune working for a penny stock exchange. Deciding to take his aggressive style of stockbroking to the rest of the world, Jordan forms his own firm, Stratton Oakmont Inc., with his friends, including Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), using his own techniques and teaching them to others in order to make millions playing the stock market. However, not all is well. He divorces and gets married again to the beautiful Naomi (Margot Robbie), becomes addicted to drugs, sex, and money, and soon finds himself under the scrutiny of FBI Agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler). But they don't call Jordan the Wolf for nothing...
This movie is frankly fantastic. The comedy and the drama mixes well together, combining dark elements of debauchery, strippers, BDSM hookers, and a seemingly inhuman amount of drugs, combined with the corporate world of Wall Street, where greed and corruption run high. As always, Martin Scorsese's direction is fabulous, with several shots, including one near the end, and the film's depiction of highs and drug trips, are excellently done. Leonardo DiCaprio, who I have grown to love in recent years, develops, quite frankly, one of his best performances of all time (seriously. Watch the scene where he's high off of Lemmon Ludes [I'm not sure if that's right...] where he literally is unable to stand up. He literally crawls and rolls himself across a floor, down a flight of stairs and into a car all the while being the only actor in the scene. It is really amazing). The movie is fantastic simply because the characters in it are mainly assholes. They're awful people more concerned with earning money and keeping up their hedonistic lifestyles, but despite that, because we see things from their point-of-view, we sympathize them, especially with DiCaprio's Jordan who, quite simply, has a ton of awful shit happen to him in the end of his financial career.
In the end, Jordan's life is a wreck. His money is gone, lost to Swiss bank accounts and legal fees. His wife has left him (saying she never really loved him) and has taken their daughter from him. His best friend betrays him to the FBI when he attempts to warn him that he's wired, and he has ruined most of his own life personally, wasting away thanks to all the sex, drugs, and debauchery.
This is amazing. I love Scorsese and DiCaprio, and the two are at their finest in this film. It is a fascinating exploration of corporate greed and debauchery, all through the eyes of corrupt corporate men, even if they do have their own odd system of morality that drives Jordan to get rich and richer, though he still attempts to do so without hurting any unnecessary people, making him almost a tragic anti-hero, though one of a darker and often more perverse kind. If I only have one complaint, its the ending. It goes on a little too long, and the ending is rather odd, if it is true to the real story that occurred.
I can honestly also say that any movie that has their opening scene as one of midget-tossing cannot be all that bad.
My Rating: 5/5