“The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013) 180 min. Dir: Martin Scorsese. Rot: Terence Winter. Com Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Cristin Milioti, Christine Ebersole, Shea Wigham, Katarina Cas, P.J. Byrne, Kenneth Choi, Brian Sacca, Henry Zebrowski, Ethan Suplee, Barry Rothbart, Jake Hoffman, Mackenzie Meehan, Aya Cash, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Ashlie Atkinson, Jordan Belfort, Sandra Nelson, Christina Jeffs, Carla Corvo.
Forget the nice Martin Scorcese from “Hugo”. In “Wolf of Wall Street” it is the director of “Mean Streets” who is in charge, taking to the screens the shocking biography of Jordan Belfort, the stock market unethical ex-millionaire. The heavy revelations of his history have allowed Scorsese to be as daring as his creativity allows him.
The movie takes us by surprise with the abundant use of drugs and the constant presence of sex and orgies scenes, even not being explicit. Not to mention the filthy tactics used by Belfort to get rich. And it all happened in real life, which is astonishing.
So, Scorsese uses a whole bunch of resources, which fit the over the top life of the millionaire. Among them, we find voice over narration by the main character, image freeze, talking directly to the camera, slow motion, unexpected camera angles. For instance, we watch the character driving a red Ferrari and, suddenly, the narrator says that it was white–like-Don-Johnson’s-one-in-Miami-Vice, and the car changes its color.
Jordan Belfort’s actual talent was to be an amazing salesman. Therefore he made success starting to sell penny stocks, which payed him big commissions. The big issue is that he had learned from a former employer (played magnificently by Matthew McConaughey in a small part), in one of the best scenes of the movie, that he should not care if his client made money, the important thing was to sell and receive the commission. In the end, these unethical practices would lead him to FBI investigations and finally to his ruin.
“Wolf of Wall Street” is flamboyant like the 1980’s (great work of art direction) and especially the way Belfort lived. Played by Leonardo Dicaprio, longtime fellow of Scorsese in many productions, the character grows increasingly mad during the film. He leaves his nice looking wife (Cristin Milioti) for the knock-out call-girl Naomi (Margot Robbie), and dives into sex and drugs dependency. And endless greed.
If “The Departed” was acclaimed by critics and public and “Wolf of Wall Street” not that much, that can only be explained by the unpleasant subject of the latter. It is a dirty movie, but a brilliant one.