“Wolf of Wall Street has everything a man's fantasy could require: Humour, sex, money, drugs, nudity and a completely over-the-top luxury lifestyle. It is a great thrill to watch and yet haunting to see the sort of person such lifestyles turn people into. Being based on a true story, might be what pushes it into the obscene."
–Loughborough Odeon audience member.
Yes. There is much to be said about The Wolf of Wall Street. The acting? Disgustingly brilliant. The script and filming? Aggressively perfected. The subject matter? Effectively repulsive.
Not for the faint hearted, The Wolf of Wall Street is an instant Scorsese classic. Leaving the cinema, it is impossible not to hear the crowd of satisfied viewers enraptured in conversations with their friends about what they loved or what they couldn’t stand. The most disagreeable parts include the shocking way in which women are presented, even for those used to Scorsese’s style.
It is a successful artistic portrayal of the declining moralities within the decadent lifestyles of Wall Street. It tears down the Wall and exposes the vulgarity of greed, drugs and sex-addiction behind our ‘trustee’ stockbrokers.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of the infamous Jordan Belfort, a foul-mouthed, chauvinistic drug-addict from the Bronx was almost too convincing. Jonah Hill, now a two-time Oscar nominee for his supporting role as Donnie Azoff, was particularly revolting. His sleazy and degenerate character just about embodied the film as a whole; absolutely repulsive, yet difficult to look away.
At times, the entire audience would burst in laughter, particularly in the outrageous and ridiculous moments where social expectations are thrown out the window of a skyscraper. Other times, you might sit there trying to fathom how so many people can laugh along with the inhumane scenes, knowing that they exist in the real world and are not so much a laughing matter.
There is no mercy in this film, the viewer and the victims do not receive an apology and Belfort doesn’t get the punishment he deserves. It blurs the boundaries between ridiculous and realistic, and leaves those of us with a conscious to bear the remorse. That is where the beauty of this film lies, in the inevitably conflicting responses.