Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Director: Martin Scorsese
Running Time: 179 mins
The Wolf Of Wall Street is an American film about the life of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort, and his rise to being one of the richest men in America, to his downfall involving crime, corruption, and an in-depth FBI investigation.
Well, I have to say that this was stunning to watch. Not in any sort of mind-blowing way, but for sheer entertainment, and for a fascinating story, this is surely one of the best films of all time.
A typical sort of Scorsese film, this is pretty much identical to Goodfellas, in terms of its narrative, setting and characterisation. The one thing that sets this story apart from that classic film is the fact that this is one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen, and that constant brilliant comedy increases the entertainment value by hundreds of times.
The one thing I worried about seeing this film would be that 3 hours would be way too much to sit through, and although I will say that the final portion of the story, involving the litigation process, was a little slower, those 179 minutes whizzed by, being fun, intriguing and on the whole brilliant to watch.
In terms of the story itself, aside from the comedy, it shows the lives of these mega-rich stockbrokers in a very interesting way. What it does is represent the recklessness and decadence of these frankly insane people in such a way that it nearly celebrates it. Not that it does too much, as everyone gets their comeuppance in the end, and it demonstrates what they were doing was of course wrong, but it’s shown in such an entertaining way that you struggle to criticise the guys, and end up supporting them while they exploit other people in this overly extravagant lifestyle.
(Just regarding the graphic nature of the sex and drug taking in this film: it is quite hardcore, and happens pretty much every three minutes for the whole running time, and yet it is shown in such a way that it is oddly funny to watch.)
Looking at the central performance by Leonardo DiCaprio, one of my favourite actors, it was spectacular. Rather than just portraying the more dramatic and ruthless side to Belfort, he also manages to convey the insanity of his character, through various ridiculous adventures that leave you with your jaw wide open in shock.
As for everyone else, they were fantastic too, so this has one of the best ensemble casts I’ve seen in a while, making this all round an excellently fascinating, dramatic, clever and above all: side-splittingly hilarious film to watch for 3 hugely entertaining hours.