Fugazi – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Too much money. So this is about the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). Stock brokering is his game, and he has become quite talented at peddling worthless penny stocks. He has amassed a fortune but has picked up plenty of bad habits along the way. Oh yeah, and this is based on a true story. Now this was a five-star movie that I’ve only watched once in theaters. I appreciated it very much at the time, and it made me feel some sort of way, given that I work in the financial sector. I decided it was time to revisit the old wolf on a lazy Sunday, and I still feel exactly the same way.

Yes, I’m still in finance.

Just about everything in The Wolf of Wall Street is fantastic, but there is one thing that stands head and shoulders above the rest: the performance of Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s a powerhouse, and I don’t think it is even very close of a competition when you go to rank his most iconic roles. He has this cocaine charisma about him that I imagine is similar to the real-life Belfort, and you can’t wait to see what he will say or do next. It might make you envious for a second just because he has so much wealth and power, but only for a second. It becomes apparent all too quickly that this man has all sorts of crippling problems, and he forever seems like he is a stumble away from meeting his end at all times. Like the Notorious B.I.G. said: mo’ money, mo’ problems. Belfort is this monster of a person, and sure, a bit of debauchery can be fun from time to time, but if you dabble in excess for long enough, you lose sight of what makes you human. That is what this movie is all about to me. There is constantly some disaster happening at every single turn. There are very few movies out there that demand a three-hour runtime, and this is very much one of those films. It’s a comedy that will make you laugh, but more as a voyeur. It’s not like you are ever given a reason to root for Belfort or to be in his corner, it just happens to be his tale where you are along for the ride.

It’s also the movie that rightfully put Margot Robbie on the map.

This movie still gives me some war flashbacks. I worked in a Call Center where I had scripts that demanded I “create a sense of urgency,” and I am grateful I at least don’t have to do that anymore on the daily. Still, there is a palpable kinetic energy about The Wolf of Wall Street that you don’t see all that often, and it is even rarer to see it maintained with the stamina that you get to witness here. To me, this is a movie that warns you to be careful who you idolize. People will still chase that almighty dollar, but don’t lose your soul along the way and put Jordan Belfort up on a pedestal.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) *****

– Critic for Hire

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