Monday, 6 January 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street [2013]

Scorsese’s latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street, has polarized viewers immensely; some have even called it obscene and obnoxious. However, it wasn’t the film, but the person it was based on (and the world he represented, to extrapolate) who was obscene and obnoxious, and that distinction is vital while appraising the film. Marty used Jordan Belfort’s memoir for this rambunctious, provocative, over-the-top and caricaturish exposé on the decadence, debauchery and excesses that the worst of Capitalism represents, and the end-product was ambitious, darkly funny, raunchy and deliberately revolting, if tad uneven and over-cooked. Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) made the journey from rags to vulgar riches by hustling his way across gullible investors, with his firm Stratton Oakmont. With a few hobos as sidekicks he soon becomes a billionaire whose filthy displays of wealth was matched by his outrageous lifestyle choices. He leaves his wife for a trophy girlfriend (Margot Robbie), becomes addicted to every known drug ranging from cocaine to banned medicines, and starts hopping from one hooker to another, all the while conniving and dodging past regulations like a man who knows no tomorrow. His best buddy in nearly all his sins is Donnie (Jonah Hill), only to realize too late there are no true friends in his line. However, in a bitterly ironic twist, when he eventually goes down, the comeuppance he gets is ludicrously miniscule. Though not without its share of flaws, there’s no denying its vitality and its no-holds-barred sarcasms, even if, on the surface, it appeared non-judgmental. DiCaprio gave a stellar and fearless turn that might just rank as the defining role of his career.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Genre: Drama/Biopic
Language: English
Country: US

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