Reviewed: The Wolf of Wall Street
The ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ is based on the memoir of the same name written by Jordan Belfort. The central character of Belfort is played by Leonardo I-still-don’t-have-an-Oscar-but-who-cares DiCaprio. The movie is directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Terence Winter. No wonder, the expectations from this one were through the roof! While it was released on December 25, in those burger/pizza/hot dog hogging parts of the world, the movie was released on January 3 in the wada pav/pav bhaji/pithla bhakri (and 1000 more amazing dishes) eating world (we Punekars and all the people of India). This was my experience of the movie.
Director: Martin GENIUS Scorsese
Producer: Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland, Emma Tillinger Koskoff
Screenplay: Terence Winter
Based on The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort (actor par excellence)
Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff (funny, weird, at time, annoying)
Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia (For her looks, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate her 10,000)
Matthew McConaughey as Mark Hanna (kamaal acting)
Kyle Chandler as Patrick Denham (American version of the serious cop we saw most Indian actors play last year)
Rob Reiner as Max Belfort (the father who uses more cuss words than Leo. Sanskaar ki aisi ki taisi!)
Jon Favreau as Manny Riskin
Jean Dujardin as Jean-Jacques Saurel
Editing: Thelma Schoonmaker (She must have had an overdose of SLB/Ashutosh Gowarikar, there is no other reason why she’d think 3 hours is okay for a movie. One is forced to ask the question, “Did she even do her work or just sent in the movie as it is?”)
Running Time: 179 minutes (3 taas! Now you know why I’m so critical of the editing!)
The movie is all about money, sex, shares, cops disapproving of your get-rich-fast schemes, alcohol, drugs, smokes and the continual use of the F-word. It starts with Jordan joining a firm on Wall Street, learning about the world of stock market and the tricks to sell them to customers. He gets some gyaan from Matthew McConaughey and gets a broker’s license. However, the firm has to shut down. Reason; the disastrous Black Monday of 1987, when stock sales plummeted and stock markets around the world crashed.
Jobless, Jordan finds the only available job for stock brokers, where he sells stocks to just about anyone (postman, plumber, etc.) but, offers 50% commission. He uses his Wall Street tricks and succeeds. After making it large, he decides to start a company of his own. He and a gang he assembles start ‘Stratton Oakmont’ and begin selling shares. Within moments, they grow on to become a huge company. As the money begins to come in at a rapid pace, the best things in life too make a grand entrance. Booze, drugs and partying in exotic locations become an everyday affair. The F-word usage maximises and no work can be done without it. The poor wife is replaced by a hotter (times 10,000) one and basically everything turns into every guy’s fantasy, a world full of money, heists, women and drugs. Things get bad when an FBI agent decides to snoop in on the company’s activities and the rest of the movie is all about the problems of making money with total disregard of the law.
Almost every actor is fantastic but Leo as Jordan Belfort steals the show. His life in the first part is extremely appealing and the way he rises to the top, with the motivational speeches he gives to his troops, make one admire him. The whole cast does a wonderful job and play their part to perfection. Margot Robbie is the perfect eye candy and one cannot help but ogle her.
The problem, however, becomes the length. After sometime, the excessive use of the F-word becomes irritating and boring. F-this, F-that, mother-F (do some work), father-F, sister-F, daughter-F, dog-F (do some drugs), brother-F, female dog-F, random name-F (party and enjoy some random chick), F… the loop continues. Apart from a few memorable scenes, there are many others the movie could easily do without. Although it is three hours, one thinks, it lasted an eternity.
A small tip: Do not even think about taking your children with you for this one. It still remains a big mystery as to why and how a couple could bring their toddlers along for the movie. It is an ADULT film and the explicit content in the movie makes it loud and clear. Mulanvar sanskaar is something a parents still worry about, right?
Some may enjoy it a lot, given its amazing direction and the cast, while others, who are oblivious to Scorsese, will come out saying it wasn’t great at all! Whatever the verdict or the opinions you might have heard, the movie is worth a watch.