The Wolf Of Wall Street

Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name, The Wolf Of Wall Street is a 2013 black comedy film directed by Martin Scorcese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This is their 5th film together and the duo also co-produced the film also features Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Favreau, and Jean Dujardin. Belfort was a New York stockbroker who runs a firm that engages in securities fraud and corruption on Wall Street in the 1990s. The film is noted for it’s many nudities, coarse language, excessive drug usage, moral ambiguity, vulgarity and sexual content showcasing the excess that was the financial boom of the 90s. The film has grossed over $375 million worldwide, and was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, as well as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for DiCaprio and Hill respectively, but failed to win in any category.

What can I saw about this movie? Over the top excess and actors at their very best – Leo in particular is out of this fucking universe. There is much snorting of cocaine and swallowing of Quaaludes, to go along with the booze that flows like water and debauchry. Belfort is a smart young stock broker who in 1987, begins a low-level job at an established Wall Street firm and is taken under the wing of his boss and give advice on how to live the high life. Unfortunately just as Belfort passes his exam to become a certified stockbroker, he loses his job on account of the firm’s bankruptcy and has to take a job with a small company that deals with pennystocks in a boiler room. Jordan impresses his new colleagues and charms his way to aggressively pitch his way to small fortune for both himself and the company as pennystocks have a 50% agent commission. He soon meets and befriends Donnie Azoff, who is his neighbour and the two start their own venture, recruiting Jordan’s accountant parents are recruited as well as several of Jordan’s friends, some of them experienced marijuana dealers. Jordan coaches his people in the art of selling and they start making a killing in the “dump & pump” scam and to hide their true nature, he names the company rather elegantly – Stratton Oakmont.

With success comes a lavish lifestyle of parties, sex and drugs – with hookers and dancers in the office followed by drinking and lots of fun. At one such pool party Jordan meets & falls in love & lust with Naomi and begins an affair with her which leads to his divorce and later marriage to Naomi, which is an extravagant event. Around this time FBI agent Patrick Denham starts investigating Stratton Oakmont and in particular Jordan along with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Jordan makes a $22 million on his securing the IPO of Steve Madden Ltd. and to hide some of his money he opens an account in a Swiss bank in the name of Emma, Naomi’s British aunt and uses his drug smuggler friend Brad’s Slovenian girlfriend and her family to smuggle more money out of the US and into Switzerland. Donnie and Brad have a loud fight outside a mall and Brad is caught with the money by the cops, which nearly exposes the company. With the law looming over him, Jordan’s father Max convinces him to step down from running the company and escape the legal penalties but after his emotional speech Jordan changes his mind much to the delight of the employees. However Emma dies and Jordan & Donnie with their wives  to sail to Monaco so they can drive to Switzerland without getting their passports stamped at the border and settle the bank account, but a violent storm capsizes their yacht. After their rescue, the plane sent to take them to Geneva is destroyed by a seagull flying into the engine, exploding and killing three people. Witnessing this, Jordan considers this as a warning sign from God and decides to sober up.

2 years later Denham finally arrests Jordan as he is shooting an infomercial, as the Swiss banker was arrested in the states and basically gave him up. As the evidence against him in overwhelming, Jordan agrees to gather evidence against the rest of his colleagues in exchange for a lighter sentence. Jordan and his wife fight as he tells her about his sentencing and it turns violent as Naomi tells him that she is going to divorce him and that her lawyer says she has a good chance of getting full custody of their two young children. Jordan throws a violent tantrum, gets high, and ends up crashing his car in his driveway during an attempt to abscond with their older daughter. Shaken by his reckless endangerment of his child, Jordan wears a wire to the office but reveals to Donnie that the Feds are listening and to be careful. However this is noticed by the FBI and Denham arrests Jordan and Statton Oakmont is raided and shut down. Despite him warning his friend, Jordan gets a lighter sentence of 36 months and after being released he starts making a living holding sales seminars in New Zealand.

Leonardo goes over the top in this film, perhaps his most brilliant and explosive performance ever and is joined bu Hill who also gives his best performance yet. The sex scenes, drug scenes and debauchery may throw some people off this film but even setting that aside, this is a powerful and hilarious film. I wouldn’t suggest young people to watch it though but all adults should, if only to watch a masterful overall performance by the entire cast. Some of the stuff is really out there. 9 outta 10!

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