Based on Jordan Belfort’s bestselling memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street takes viewers on the journey of a newly appointed New York stockbroker, showing how Belfort (Leonardo DiCapiro) made his fortune by selling penny stocks, (which are basically stocks for companies that are likely not to make the buyer of the stock a lot of money) and then later progressing to selling IPOs, the first of which was for the women’s shoemaker, Steve Madden, a representation which later leads to the new companies downfall.
Despite the name, for the most part the film is actually set in Long Island (the start of the movie shows Belfort as a broker for a Wall Street stockbrokers), where Belfort’s self-made company is based, and is where we see the most of Belfort’s deals and drug taking antics.
However as with real life, these antics quickly become a problem from Belfort, who excessively over indulges himself, both in drugs and in sex going as far as to escalate to a drug called Quaaludes whilst taking both cocaine and morphine, all of kicked off from the humble beginnings of a straight talking, aspirational, non-user of any kind of drug, or obscenity, Belfort’s addictions cost him his family, livelihood and even his freedom, finally getting bust by Kyle Chandler, an agent for the FBI.
However the film in no way condones any of these actions, taking a similar route to that of GoodFellas, showing how this road of drug addition could be enjoyable for some, but in the long run catching up with them.
But The Wolf of Wall Street is also an incredibly funny film, with a series of ups and downs, the film clearly shows just how this drug taking binge could feel in real life, at some points the highs can be vulgar and at others they can be down right strange, but then just a few seconds later the down will hit, bringing with it a hit of craziness.
This is only extended by the film’s great line=up of characters that includes Jonah Hill, The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal, Ethan Supiee, P.J. Bryne and Kenneth Choi, all of whom provide some epically funny screen time whilst at Stratton Oakmont. My stand out character however is definitely Jonah Hill’s Donnie Azoff, as Jordan’s business partner Jonah plays a role which was based on the original Belfort’s associate Danny Porush, providing some of the most memorable moments within the film, Donnie mixes big white teeth with a manic personality, joining up with Jordan to create a brilliant duo of debauchery and some incredibly funny drug taking scenes.
Alongside this set of characters, Jean Dujardin has also been featured in a rather small but somewhat important role as the Swiss banker, helping Belfort to hide the cash he has made from his various illegal activities, and bringing on the character of of Aunt Emma (Joanna Lumley) who is actually quite a lot like the real Lumley, both an entertaining and very English breath of fresh air.
Rob Reiner is also featured as Jordan’s dad who has been given the nickname of “Mad Max”, alongside Jon Favreau, Spike Jonze,, Shea Whigham, Matthew McConaughey and even Jordan Belfort, who makes a brief appearance towards the end of the film.
Not all of the characters are as developed as the before mentioned however, with one of The Wolf of Wall Streets biggest downfalls being its female characters, who are generally there to add some eye candy or just play the role of a whore, well aside from Aunt Emma (Joanna Lumley).
Other than the whores and eye candy, the only other main female characters are Jordan’s first wife Teresa (Cristin Milioti) and his second wife Naomi (Margot Robbie), but thanks to the fact that DiCaprio has played such as good part as Jordan, it’s not too noticeable, but should definitely be mentioned.
Overall The Wolf of Wall Street is certainly one of the best films I have watched a long time, despite its 3 hour runtime this film is not one that you will find yourself counting the seconds to get out your seat, ever entertained by the ongoing increase of indulgence, funny moments and general excitement. If you have a few hours spare and the cash to visit a cinema this weekend, you should definitely go watch The Wolf of Wall Street.