The Wolf Of Wall Street – Movie Review


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From the very first scene of the movie where Leonardo DiCaprio (voicing over as Jordan Belfort) states that his Ferrari was white and not red, and the car changes colors as it is changing lanes, you know you are in for a fun ride, and that is precisely what The Wolf Of Wall Street is, a fun caper kind of movie where Martin Scorsese, the director and DiCaprio take you on the wild ride that Jordan Belfort had for approximately a decade in the 1990s.

JonahHillThe premise of the movie is quite simple; Jordan Belfort is a stock broker who has the misfortune of the Black Monday of 1987 ensuring that his stock broking career never takes off. He therefore begins working at a small trading firm where he learns that the brokerage numbers on penny stocks are humungous and therefore decides to make a living peddling these stocks to customers. He is then joined by Donnie Azoff (played wonderfully well by Jonah Hill) and starts their own trading firm – Stratton Oakmont.

From humble beginnings, they go on to make millions of dollars of money and live a life of complete debauchery with parties, sex and drugs ruling their lives in and out of office. Hard-sell and raking in the moolah become Jordan’s credo in life and he soon also becomes addicted to cocaine and ludes (recreational drugs).

LeonardoHis flamboyance and quick rise in Wall Street circles put the FBI and other investigating agencies’ spotlight on him and soon he is being pursued relentlessly by them for various charges of financial and ethical misdemeanor as well as for criminal wrong-doing. How he manages to outwit them for the better part of a decade and how he goes deeper and deeper into his deranged lifestyle form the meat of this movie.

After having read Jordan Belfort’s wiki entry and his own personal website, I am more than convinced that Scorsese’s take on his book of the same name is very true to its subject matter. As Belfort himself testifies on various posts in his blog, he clearly understood that his actions were unethical and illegal, but they also didn’t hurt anybody, they were only ‘white collar crimes’ as they are termed today. Scorsese has taken the book, made it a fun to watch movie where although you understand that the protagonist is doing the wrong thing, you almost end up rooting for him, a bit like rooting for Frank Abignale in Catch Me If You Can (funnily enough played once again by DiCaprio).

MatthewWatch out for Matthew McConaughey’s wonderful little cameo as Mark Hanna, Belfort’s first boss and the one who actually kind of ‘guides’ him about the fact that a stock broker should never really worry about whether his clients make enough money or not as long as their brokerage and commissions keep flowing in. He also gently ‘highlights’ the fact that sex and drugs were the only recourse for a highly stressed out stock broker as well. The five odd mins that McConaughey appears on screen are hilarious, memorable and insightful, all at the same time.

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27 thoughts on “The Wolf Of Wall Street – Movie Review

  1. I tried hard to read the review without reading the story details!
    The movie has got rave reviews indeed. But when everyone told it was 3 hours long, that put me off. Now I shall patiently wait for it to release on iTunes so I can watch it over multiple sittings.

    • @Rickie, there aren’t too many spoilers in the review are there? And yes, it is quite long, but it doesn’t quite meander like other longish movies, and is quite crisp with its screenplay. Am sure you will more than enjoy it quite a bit 🙂

      • I am currently watching Leo’s “J Edgar” directed by Clint Eastwood on Google Play. Just about average. I love time-pieces but this seems to meander a bit. And the make up looks so theatrical that it is almost putting me off.

      • @Rickie, yes J Edgar as a subject is also quite dry but then the acting is above par for sure. I kind of liked it, but for sure, it is not a fast paced movie at all

  2. I have watched the movie half way through till now. It is way too long and kind of gets repetitive. The debauchery and the overload of it was putting off for me.The good parts are like you mentioned — great dialogs, humor, Matthew McConaughey’s fantastic cameo, and Leo’s performance.

    • @Rachna, yes, the movie does take the entire debauchery a little too much at times, but then the plot is quite true to the autobiographical book on which it is based. And it does end well, you can take my word for that, so please do finish it whenever you can 🙂

  3. The movie was fabulous. The acting was excellent. It was greatly entertaining movie. I can watch it again. Perhaps I will buy it & keep it for later watch. 🙂

  4. This movie is on my list right now so I have intentionally glanced through the finer details in your review though I know you dont really have any spoilers in there 🙂 Nevertheless, your reviews makes me want to watch it all the more now.

    • @Seeta, please do watch the movie sometime, it is quite a nice watch and a nice fun movie with Leonardo and Martin Scorsese coming together to create magic just like their earlier collaborations 😀

    • @Nish, glad you enjoyed the review, and yes, I do make it a point not to include any spoilers in my reviews while subtly trying to put across my points about the movies I watch 🙂

  5. I saw this one and thought that it was quite long with many repetitions. What could have been a crisp two hour movie, was dragged on and on by the director, and my husband and I reached a point where we found ourselves yawning and waiting for the whole thing to come to an end. What we did like was the inimitable di Caprio who has matured as a fine actor over the years. I remember disliking him and being slightly dismissive of him while watching ‘Titanic,’ but he has come a long way since then.

    • @Susan, yes, the overall consensus of almost everybody that watched the movie is that it is too long, no two ways about that. I guess Martin Scorsese took the subject material too seriously and did complete justice to the same without editing out any part of it.

      As for DiCaprio, looking back, even I didn’t quite like him in Titanic at all, and like you say some of his more recent roles have more than cemented his place among the really good actors of our times, hasn’t it? Movies like Shutter Island, The Aviator, Inception and Django Unchained have provided him with a formidable body of work, haven’t they ? 🙂

    • @Kajal, yes, please do watch the movie, for sure it is worth at least a one time watch.

      And I realized that mahabore has more regular readers and ‘pull’ when compared to moviebore, and am therefore continuing to post my movie reviews here itself 🙂

      • I have an idea…post part of the review here with a lead link to Moviebore and keep advertising Moviebore in all the posts here as well…at the bottom of each post with a lead linky.

        I am not getting much traction on my movie blog too but next month onwards I plan to increase the activity there and go full on on the advertising!

        Good luck! 🙂

      • @Kajal, I am doing the exact opposite now, posting the review here and an excerpt in moviebore and it is working well for both moviebore and mahabore readers. I don’t want to stretch myself too thing with both blogs and am comfortable with this arrangement for now 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion though

    • @Purba, yes, quite agree with you on that point, from what I read Scorsese was a little too true to the book on which the movie was based and that kind of increased the length of the movie itself.

  6. I dont watch too many movies, but this one sounds really interesting…I was kinda in love with Leonardo di Caprio when I was in school thanks to Titanic 🙂 Should tell the spouse to book tickets eh?

    • @R’s Mom, exercise caution, there is a lot of nudity, swear words in this movie. Be prepared for an assault on your sensibilities if you are not used to those kind of movies 🙂

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