Martin Scorsese’s latest offering is thoroughly entertaining and everything but subtle. Sit back and enjoy this wild ride of a blockbuster.
It’s the Scorsese-DiCaprio collaboration, five times Academy Award nominated blockbuster and one of the year’s biggest talking points in film – this far. If you haven’t heard of it yet then you must have been living under a rock for the past few weeks. Welcome back.
My first attempt to see The Wolf of Wall Street on the weekend it was released failed. It had sold out everywhere. A fortnight later I’d sat through multiple conversations about it and I wasn’t spared direct quotes or spoilers. I had read the book of the same name a few years previously so in a sense it was already ‘spoilt’.
Nevertheless, I needed to see the exuberance, the excess and the exorbitance depicted in cinema. It was one of those rare occasions where the total insanity displayed on screen exceeded the absurdity I’d originally imagined.
The Wolf in question is Jordan Belfort, a born salesman who makes obscene amounts of money running a high-income, highly immoral Wall Street firm, less than legally – though we’re not really told how which may be a pitfall. What we are shown is scene after scene of utter excess: cocktails of coke, crack and Quaaludes, caseloads of cash, $3,000 pinstripe suits, fast cars, and paid-for women. Most scenes are obscene and yes, it gets a little… excessive. Does it get dull? Not a bit.
To find a moral message in Wolf is possible. The point could be that money can’t buy happiness – that old cliché. Certainly the three hours of deceiving, cheating, scamming, and screwing show money can’t make you nice. The message could be that a life of debauchery and revelry too becomes tiresome and monotonous. But maybe that’s not the point, so forget about the message and enjoy the riot.
The performances are huge. Jonah Hill is hilarious as Belfort’s right-hand man; Matthew McConaughey’s cameo is totally memorable; and DiCaprio is captivating, as per, whether or not he succeeds in endearing you to his character. Could it be the one that finally earns Leo an Oscar? It’s a big performance and while the Wolf is inherently OTT he maintains credibility throughout. I cross my fingers.
I paid €9 for my ticket. That works out at €3 per hour for quite a show. Beat that for entertainment.
The Wolf of Wall Street is in cinemas now. Nationwide.