I’ll start off by saying that The Wolf Of Wall Street never really sounded like the kind of film I’d enjoy. I’m not really into stories about very rich people who proceed to commit crime and lose it all. For me, that just doesn’t seem like enough to draw me in. However, with very rave reviews from a range of different sources, I finally agreed to see it. I am certainly a fan of Leo, so I hoped he would cause me to get lost in it.
It’s based on the true story of Jordan Belfort (played by DiCaprio) who narrates the action. Jordan gets a job on Wall Street with boss Mark Hanna (McConaughey) who advises him to live a life full of drugs and sex in order to keep on top of work. When he loses the job, he goes on to work for a smaller firm and impresses bosses there with his expert selling style. It is here that he meets Donnie (Jonah Hill) and goes into business with him forming Stratton Oakmont, a scam company that in turn makes millions of dollars and Jordan earns his title of “Wolf of Wall Street”. Living the high life, Jordan quickly spirals into a life of cocaine and prostitutes which causes his marriage to break down. He then re-marries Naomi (Margot Robbie) and has a daughter with her. As the FBI investigate Jordan’s firm, he opens a Swiss bank account in Naomi’s aunt’s Emma’s (Joanna Lumley) name in England. After many more twists and turns involving further debauchery, the police catch up with Jordan and close Stratton Oakmont, throwing him in prison. However, the ending shows Jordan giving seminars on sales techniques after his sentence is reduced.
Considering the film was three hours long, it was a lot to take in for a long period of time. It is described as a black comedy and there were definitely some funny moments within the film. Mark Hanna’s chest-thumping exercise was one of the most memorable funny moments as were Jordan’s attempts to drive from his country club to his home while heavily intoxicated. The acting displayed in this scene is definitely worthy of an Oscar for DiCaprio.
However, I found it very difficult to sympathise or relate to any of the characters. This is a big deal for me because it meant that I couldn’t really lose myself in the film as I would have liked to. It is a whole cast of unpleasant, self-absorbed people and because of this, it really lacked any sort of emotion for me. With a film as long as it was, I got quite bored because there wasn’t anyone or anything for me to latch on to and if I hadn’t paid to see it, I probably would have turned it off halfway through. The story wasn’t the easiest to follow either and I was a little confused at the end that he wasn’t in jail as fraud on that scale deserved much longer than he got.
All in all, it just wasn’t a film for me. I didn’t go in with high expectations so I’m glad that I wasn’t disappointed but for me, there just wasn’t enough emotional content or comedy. No doubt those who love films about tricksters and money scams will love it but The Wolf Of Wall Street definitely didn’t convert me!