“The Wolf of Wall Street” is loud, obnoxious, offensive, morally corrupt, and a good film.
Fans of director Martin Scorsese’s work know that he does not shy away from violence and liberal use of profanity. So, fair warning to film goers, it’s a hard movie to watch, even for those with the strongest of stomachs.
The anti-hero, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), lives a life filled with deceit, parties, sex, and a whole lot of drugs. Belfort enters the world of Wall Street in his early 20s, young and eager to please. Unfortunately for Belfort, shortly after he passes his exam to become a certified stockbroker, he loses his job on account of the firm’s bankruptcy.
What seems like a dead-end, soon turns into an opportunity, when Belfort discovers the world of penny stocks. With 50 percent commission on every sale, plus little to no regulation, a good salesman can make a fortune, and Belfort does.
Before long, Belfort is making tens of millions of dollars a year, has his own firm with the respectable name of Stratton Oakmont, and the not so respectable antics that come with that amount of money and power.
Of course, this much “success” in the world of finance is bound to attract some attention, and it does.
First, there’s the press. An article in Forbes names Belfort the “Wolf of Wall Street”, and sends hundreds of young financiers flocking to Stratton Oakmont. Next, there’s the FBI. Agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) begins investigating Stratton Oakmont.
In the end, wrists are slapped, but as is often the case in white-collar crime, the real perpetrators aren’t truly punished.
The Wolf of Wall Street, while disturbing at times, paints an unapologetic picture of the corruption of Wall Street. The film truly does have something to offend everyone. There are little people used as human darts, scantily clad marching bands, even more (or less?) scantily clad women, hundred-dollar bills are thrown away like garbage, drugs, and every other socially taboo behavior you could never even fathom.
It’s ridiculous behavior. In fact, most of the films “humor” relies on the fact that the audience is so incredibly uncomfortable that they can’t help, but laugh at the ridiculousness of what is playing out on the screen.
What makes it even worse, is that it’s all based on the memoir of the real Jordan Belfort.
It’s offensive, but it does make a point, even if it is somewhat drowned out by all the f-bombs (they literally set the record – 506). This corruption exists all around us, and perhaps it’s because of our ignorance that they’re allowed to get away with it. Or the less encouraging version, a lot of the time, the bad guys get away with it.
…just for fun: