INTRODUCTION. Three hours long and epic in its proportions, The Wolf of Wall Street isn’t a trip to the cinema: it’s a commitment. You’ll know it by the controversy or trailers, and not just for overuse of nudity and drugs. Audiences can’t make up their minds about whether or not Scorcese’s latest undertaking is guilty of glamorisation or condemnation: what we eventually settle on may say more about us as a society than it does the prominent director.
STORY. My brother, when prodded for opinion, promptly accused the plot of completely lacking a strong/identifiable climax.. He isn’t entirely amiss. Jordan Belfort’s rise to obscene wealth on Wall Street starts snappy, and it gradually builds into a remarkable zenith of activity from which we never come down. The film is an all-out and humongous effort at entertainment with purposefully shocking, hilarious behaviour; there is too much of everything shoved into our faces from start to end. Don’t even think that this isn’t intentional. The Wolf of Wall Street is unfalteringly artful and uncomfortably honest. If the plot leaves a nasty taste in your mouth, it is only because of the jarring disparity between our expectations of onscreen parables and real life.
CHARACTERS. I should let you know now that these aren’t exactly likeable characters. At their best they are brotherly and funny. At their worst, altogether condescending and obnoxious. Scorcese tenaciously breaks the fourth wall at multiple points in the film, though not simply as an attempt to endear Belfort to the audience – it’s to give him the chance to spit on us. Don’t get me wrong, though. These are solid, insanely flawed and fascinating assholes. DiCaprio and Hill are pinnacles of watchability even when they’re making us cringe… which is most of the time.
CONCLUSION. The Wolf of Wall Street is monumental and cleverly crafted underneath all its pomp. Word of warning? Expect to come out of the cinema feeling a little nauseated. Scorsese holds up a mirror to the standards of society we continue to enable and hey – it’s a bloody brilliant mirror. But that’s not the point, is it?
CHARACTERS: 8.5/10 STORY: 7.5/10 REWATCH FACTOR: 4/10 OVERALL: 7.8/10