Is Greed Good? A Wolf of Wall Street Review

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When I sat down in the cinema to watch the Wolf of Wall street I was not quite sure what to expect, and I was very pleasantly surprised.

The film follows the story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his rise in the world of wall street, with all the Money, Drugs and excess that comes with it. he starts his own company with Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and a few other friends with some less than reputable business practices (in fact highly illegal ones) and makes a lot of money because of it. There is also a sub plot about his relationship with his trophy wife Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie). To say more would be giving to much away but I will say it is a very compelling story that kept me interested for the 3 hour running time. The films story is told in a way that will be familiar to anyone who has seen Goodfellas or Casino, through voice over by the main character, in fact the film is very similar to Goodfellas in structure and themes and anyone who enjoyed that film should enjoy this. The themes are very heavily money as a drug, in fact this is even said outright in the opening monologue.

The first thing I should say, as it was the thing that surprised me the most, is that The Wolf of Wall Street is a Comedy, and a very funny one at that. I went in thinking it might be like Martin Scorsese's last epic bio-pic The Aviator, his film about Howard Hughes also starring Leonardo DiCaprio, a very serious and reverential Film. But this is very different, it is very funny and has many laugh out loud moments, a scene where one character try's to get down some stairs while completely off their face on drugs is a highlight. That is not to say it doesn't have its serious moments, it does a few and they can be very hard to watch, but over all you should take it more light hearted than some other bio-pic's

There is a lot of Excess in this movie, drugs especially, and many have been critical of this, but personally I don't think it is a problem in the context film, although the characters go on about how good they are the drugs do cause a lot of problems for them and I don't think it is such an overtly positive portrait of drugs as some think. and in the end it is based on a real mans life and if he did this it must be shown.  

As for the acting it is beyond faultless, when DiCaprio as Belfort was giving motivational speeches to his employees I felt like cheering in the theatre such was the power of his performance. I was also Afraid that Jonah Hill Might have been out of his depth in this film but he was as good as DiCaprio, and I don't say that lightly, particularly in the lighter hearted moments. A special mention should be made to Matthew Maconahey who has a scene stealing Cameo as Belfort's chest bumping first boss. The supporting cast play their parts well to, there is no loose link.

But the film does have problems, the main one I found was that some scenes dragged on a lot more than they should have, particularly some that repeated information we already as an audience knew. That coupled with the 3 hour running time might put some people off. But don't let it, for ever scene that drags there are 50 that have you laughing, Crying or on the edge of your seat. I didn't once look at my watch.   

I will say this, if your sensitive about drug taking, nudity or swearing be aware that all of these are in the film in large amounts, the film in fact holds the record for the most F-words in a film, and it is something to be aware of.

Overall I loved The Wolf of Wall Street, its story and acting where superb and I give it a solid 9/10.


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