Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street- A review

Nah. I wasn't impressed with the gratituous scenes of coke fueled sex orgies. Neither was I surprised about Leonardo DiCaprio's ferociousness on screen, while playing a New York stock broker who is equally ferocious in his appetite for making money.
I was most impressed by DiCaprio's and the rest of the cast's spot on portrayal of drug abuse.
 Watch Leo's character Jordan Belfort as he sits at the lavatory of a diner sharing a pipe of what looks like crystal meth(amphetamines).Belfort's eyes  go wide as he takes a puff and his head jolts up like an adolescent who's about to take on the world.
 "Let's go out and run off like we're lions, tigers and bears!" he tells Jonah Hill's character Donnie Azoff. Off they run, all money hungry to start their new stock brokerage joint venture after Black Monday of '87.
 Belfort with his impeccable suits is blessed with a gift to convince people in any stock broker pitch. Coming from a middle class family with a loving but fouled mouth father and quiet mother, Belfort moves to work at Wall street at age 22 with a supportive young wife in tow. But he starts his career at around Black Monday and the company of stock broker  wolves he works for soon goes under.
  Upon finding about a stock brokerage firm in upstate Long Island area, he finds his niche while selling penny stocks, which are basically stocks that go for peanuts. He impresses the small-time firm of suburbanites with his knack for selling anything to anyone he gets on the phone.
 A consummate convincer. It is in Long Island that
 Hills' Azoff character meets Belfort. Azoff works for a family business and becomes intrigued at Belfort's lavish lifestyle and huge paychecks that pale in comparison with his meagre existence in the suburbs.

Director extraordinaire Martin Scorcese invites us into their world of money-obsessed men and women. We see that the saying work hard and play hard aptly describes the stock broker world of 80s America, a decade known for its excessiveness.

Cue the wild after work-hour parties, coke snorting on a stripper's ass and one scene where a drug fueled Azoff openly jerks off at the sight of Belfort's new flame at a pool party.
Oh yes, the work is wild and crazy too as with any profession that requires any form of selling. Heck, I would know. I worked as a salesman for a week when I was 22 too. Belfort relishes in his speeches he gives to his pack of wolves at the start of a working day. He gets his workers pumped up and fired up for the day with his words.

 I get it, Mr Scorcese. Excessiveness drugs, sex and money are addictive. Especially when you have goons who are greedy as hell with making big bucks.

later on, we see the distinct differences between Belfort and Azoff. While the former loves his job for the satisfaction he gets from getting people pumped up for work, the latter is squarely focused on making money without a care if he steps all over anyone else. And Azoff pays the ultimate price at the end when he shirks his loyalty as a friend to Belfort by giving an incriminating piece of evidence to the FBI that implicates Belfort in money laundering activities in their joint venture company.
Belfort, fights back and agrees to cooperate with the FBI to bring down his entire company, in exchange for only three years in jail.

Lesson learnt: there is no such thing as making friends on wall street, as Belfort finds out in the end. And you are your own man when it comes to keeping your shit together.

Martin Scorsese (left) directing one of the intense scenes of drug usage eatured in the Wolf of Wall Street with his leading man Leonardo DiCaprio


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