Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the big bad wolf…of Wall Street


Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) throws one of his signature parties using some of the $200 million which he acquired through defrauding his investors. The movie is based on an autobiography of the real life of Jordan Belfort who grew up in Brookville, New York, one of Port Washington’s neighboring communities.

Rami Chaudhry, Staff Writer

The energy and sheer enjoyment The Wolf of Wall Street injects into its viewers’ veins are surely indications that Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio have done something right in this vigorous dark comedy.  The film marks the fifth time this duo has worked together, and The Wolf of Wall Street showcases them at their very best.

Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name, The Wolf of Wall Street chronicles Belfort’s American dream that quickly escalates to a life of corporate greed and excess.

Belfort begins his rise to stock market “wolf” by briskly making a fortune on shady sales of penny stocks.  With the help of his drug-dealing pals and his big toothed friend Donnie Azoff, played by the talented Jonah Hill, Belfort makes the leap to IPOs after creating his firm, Stratton Oakmont.

Shortly after this, the film escalates into a dark comedy epic of women, drugs, and money that is at times difficult to watch and simultaneously hard not to watch.

At the heart of the film is DiCaprio’s Golden Globe winning portrayal of Jordan Belfort.  DiCaprio displays his comedy chops as Belfort, a surprising change of pace from his usual humorless characters.

DiCaprio’s charismatic and energetic portrayal of Belfort compels the audience to watch despite images of gut wrenching excess.  Belfort swiftly becomes a self-indulgent and drug-crazed maniac who alienates himself as his mental state deteriorates.

Even though the audience and Belfort know that his demise is inevitable, they both take pleasure in watching his world spiral out of control.

The story line closely follows Belfort’s perspective as his voice guides the actions while Scorsese stylistically conveys the vigorous and fast-paced scenes.  Belfort even delivers monologues to the camera while in the middle of scenes, providing an engaging device to delve inside the character’s point of view.

For a film this crazy with such an absurd subject matter, Scorsese retains a sense of control in all of its debauchery and fast pace.  The excessive drug use, profanity, and sex may be a bit too much for some, but these elements of The Wolf of Wall Street are arguably necessary to convey the essence of the life of the real Jordan Belfort.

For some reason that is difficult to pinpoint, the absurdity of it all is what makes The Wolf of Wall Street so enjoyable.

The definition of a “wolf” is a wild, carnivorous mammal. For three hours of your life, why not step into the shoes of one? It may just be the most fun you have had at the movies all year.