RELEASE DATE: 23/01/2014
RUN TIME: 3HR 0MIN
‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ follows the rise and subsequent fall of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), as he goes from humble beginnings to a life of ludicrous excess as a stockbroker during the American boom of the late 80s. Sex, drugs and midget-throwing included – it’s a life that needs to be seen to be believed (which, at times, is still a struggle to believe, but considering the story is lifted straight from the autobiography of the real-life Belfort, you have to stop and wonder).
This film is long. Coming in at one minute shy of three hours, it is a marathon effort. It's lucky that this film is unrelenting in its portrayal of the "lack-of-consequences-greed-is-good" lifestyle, rarely providing a dull moment. There are a few quieter scenes that have an improvised feeling and tend to slightly disrupt the flow of the film. It almost has a feeling of skipping a theatrical cut and gone straight to the director's cut. Perhaps the length falls under ‘Wolf’s’ excess ethos – but even then, it borders on the just too long side.
The casting is brilliant, with DiCaprio shining in the lead, showing more comic potential than we have ever seen. Jonah Hill continues to prove that he is much more than a purely comedic actor and Australian actress, Margot Robbie, really comes into her own towards the end of the film and does a great job as Belfort’s second wife Naomi - with Joanna Lumley making a fabulous appearance as her aunt. An honourable mention must go to Matthew McConaughey as Belfort’s mentor, with his monologue performance a true highlight which spectacularly sets the tone for what is to come.
DiCaprio shows more comic potential than we have ever seen.
What is most interesting is that for such a long set up -establishing Belfort’s wealth and lack of moral compass - his downfall almost feels rushed and his punishment hardly severe enough. I can only hope that there is no reactionary culture development as a result of the film. Can you imagine an 80s renaissance with the fuel of social media and the internet? A frightening thought indeed. Storytelling on cocaine, Scorsese has created a slick, funny and grotesque film.