I wasn’t going to do a review of this movie, but due to the polarized reaction by critics and audiences alike, I feel it’s my duty to explain how the Beard sees this flick of decadence, debauchery, and the downfall of Jordan Belfort.
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up for the 6th time to tell the true story of Wall Street broker Jordan Belfort. The film also stars Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Rob Reiner and Matthew McConaughey. It is easily the funniest movie DiCaprio has made as I would classify this a dark comedy.
The movie follows Belfort from his lowly beginnings at a firm on Wall Street where he joins McConaughey’s character for lunch (a hilarious segment that sets up the tone of the film perfectly) to the building of his own empire and the destruction of everything he holds dear. With a three hour runtime, many people have called it repetitive and unnecessarily long. I disagree. I think the runtime is a great way to show the depths of extravagance and overindulgent lifestyle.
What makes this movie great is its window into a lifestyle that many of us will never live. We get to live a life of depravity and degradation vicariously through these characters. It’s also a lifestyle that many of us would never want to live. The characters are all superficial to the extreme. All they care about is themselves and benefitting off of others’ misfortunes. Misfortunes, by the way, that Belfort and his men make for the lowly Everyman. We realize as an audience, even though the characters never do, that such a lifestyle is short lived and ultimately meaningless.
Its setting takes place in the 1980s and 1990s, but aside from the aesthetics of the time period, the antics still take place today. Some viewers may not have the scope to see the historic relevance the movie will have years from now as a prime example of the extravagant debauchery of those who live so decadently in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It also shows the dichotomy of the rich and poor, a very relevant social issue of today.
It certainly earns its R-rating, and may borderline the NC-17 with heavy drug use, profanity, midget throwing, violence, and objectification of women. The Wolf of Wall Street is a great film that uses its explicit content so excessively not to fetishize the lifestyle of Belfort and his men (as many have suggested) but to condemn them as selfish, soulless and superficial.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Beards