The Wolf of Wall Street is a savage crash-course on the intricacies of the Wall Street life. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, an ambitious stockbroker lap dog who sets up a boiler room brokerage firm under the name Stratton Oakmont. Soon enough, he becomes the cash-crazed, drugged-up, and sex-obsessed “Wolf of Wall Street,” a name he gives himself. Jonah Hill is by his side as his right-hand man, Donnie Azoff. Margot Robbie is by his other side and all over him as his wife, Naomi Lapaglia.
The film’s topic is strangely familiar. In the same vein as Money Never Sleeps (2010) and American Psycho (2000) , Wolf of Wall Street wrestles with the darker sides of finance. But while the scandal is spun with the same yarn we’re used to seeing in other Wall Street films (fraud, sex, drugs, and alcohol), what’s thrilling about this reiteration of a Wall Street exposé isn’t the tale of immorality. The moral of the story is left on the back-burner and essentially forgotten. The attraction is the charismatic sociopath, Jordan Belfort, rendered so alive by DiCaprio’s absolutely all-out performance. His narration gives no shits about the fourth wall just as his Belfort gives no shits about the 99%. DiCaprio transforms that utter disregard for morality into a sprint, punctuated by jukebox tracks. It’s a rousing string of comedy and debauchery, clad in suits.
And of course, this three-hour, not-so-tempered tease into the Dionysian lifestyle is what so many Yalies seem to be interviewing for at 55 Whitney. Opening in cinemas during recruiting season surely brews a cult-following, much like the Stratton Oakmont depicted in the film. And for those of us currently logged onto UCS Symplicity, inevitably, there are tingles of envy and dirty, dirty hopes and dreams.