‘Wolf of Wall Street’ sniffs out cinematic prestige

Photo Credit: LA Times

Photo Credit: LA Times

By Christopher Null, Editor

5 stars

There are few tangible things in this world that can manipulate the soul. What if one of those things brought along the ideas of opportunity, autonomy, and avidity? In the right hands, the world could be turned into a better place. Jordan Belfort was born destined to have the wrong hands and teeth sharp enough to rip apart anyone who comes close to endangering the silver tongue lying behind them.

Based on the book written by Jordan Belfort, ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ is a story of an up-and-coming stock broker making a big name for himself. His questionable moneymaking scheme lands him in federal prison for three years. Narrated by Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ shows every object money can buy, all the other troubles that come with it, and the men and women who love being corrupted by it.

For the iconic filmmaker Martin Scorsese, this is quite possibly his crowning jewel in his long line of organized crime movies. He holds nothing back when demonstrating the animalistic nature that is man when they are empowered and awarded all that their hearts desire. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio takes bigger steps in reanimating the life of a crime boss. Other big names to have worked alongside the duo for the first time are Jonah Hill and MatthewMcConaughey . Every character recreates similar roles that the audience may have seen before, but the development and story changes the way you’ll perceive any sleaze ball trying to make a sale. Margot Robbie, playing the materialistic wife to Jordan Belfort, is just beginning to strut her way onto the big screen and take complete control. The acting giants share the screen with pristine potential to deliver a profound performance.

This film’s rating can be mistaken as an understatement, depending on what kind of audience member is interested in a Martin Scorsese film or one dealing with Wall Street corruption. As Jordan, both a sex and drug addict, there a numerous scenes that draw you deeper in the mind of what makes a drug-user use more than ‘Fear and Loathing’ ever could. The amount of on-screen nudity is only rivaled by the amount of time that is spent shading the imagery with cold narration. One could wager whether or not ‘The Departed’ still holds the record for the number of times a fancy phrase is fluttered, flown, and utterly filling up the film’s script. These combined elements demonstrate Scorsese’s mastery in cinematography.

Jordan Belfort’s story with Terence Winter’s screenplay in of itself is a devious pitch. There isn’t a moment wasted in its three-hour runtime that fails to support the story or entertain the audience. Belfort narrates the heavenly world of wealth while Winter makes it all likable and the artistic gangster duo of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio bring it to life. Besides Belfort being the big bad wolf of the stock market, the film plays on the animal motif. Everything from the exotic cars to tribal chants makes the city of New York more of a jungle than it already is. Give men room to prowl and they will feast until the riches begin to spoil their appetite. 

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