Friday, March 14, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey

Director: Martin Scorsese

Synopsis: A tale about a young stockbroker who becomes consumed by corporate greed and the excessive lifestyle that money can buy.

Reviewer’s Rating: 5/5 Reels


There is only film that gives the audience a definitive look at money and how it can corrupt the human soul, and it is this film.  Martin Scorsese directs with such passionate energy, one would think that he is in his mid-twenties.  The film is controversial as it recently broke the record for the highest usage of the f-word in a non-documentary film (this is actually Scorsese’s second time doing this, as the first was with his 1995 film Casino).  People have been criticizing the film as glorifying the lives of the corrupt individuals, but I beg to differ.  It is unrelenting in its message that this kind of greed will only destroy a person in the end.  The pacing has been crafted expertly and one forgets that they have been sitting there for three hours.  Every actor brings their absolute, and had it not been for its highly controversial subject matter, DiCaprio certainly would have won the Academy Award for Best Actor at long last. 

The film is in fact a true story based on the memoir of the same name by the man that Leonardo DiCaprio depicts: Jordan Belfort.  Having read the book myself, it is extremely accurate, and the only details that were changed were the names of literally every character except for Belfort’s.  As I said before, each one of these characters were portrayed very finely by  their actors.  Jonah Hill was also nominated for an Oscar, and rightfully so because his work in this film is so hilarious that his scene on an airplane may go down in history as one of the most comedic moments in film.  Newcomer Margot Robbie was absolutely stunning, and Matthew McConaughey may have only had a short amount of screen time, but what he does with it is phenomenal. 

The cinematography was visually mesmerizing, which is odd for a modern-day film that did not require special effects or to be shot in some fairytale land.  I think the reason is because it is the first major film to be shot digitally in its entirety.  This will carry heavy historical significance, even if it pained Scorsese and his longtime editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, to abandon the tradition of shooting on film. 

Overall, it is a film that every single person needs to see, and I think especially Christians since greed happens to be one of the seven deadly sins, and no one has captured that theme better on film than Martin Scorsese.  He is a man who is known to have a masterpiece for every decade: Taxi Driver in the 70’s, Raging Bull in the 80’s, Goodfellas in the 90’s, The Departed in the 00’s, and now, The Wolf of Wall Street in the 10’s. 

By: Nima Azar

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