Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street


Sam Weiss

The movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” has been said to be “abashed and shameless, exciting and exhausting, disgusting and illuminating,” by Matt Zoller Seitz who is a professional movie critic for the Roger Ebert foundation. I could not agree more, the five adjectives Sietz used to describe the movie accurately describe the tone, the mood, and the sensation that the movie emits out to its audience.

 “The Wolf of Wall Street” was inspired by a memoir written by Jordan Belfort on his own life story, the story mostly focuses on his career on Wall Street and the illegal practices that his firm Stratton Oakmont were committing.

Belfort grew up in the Bronx in New York City and attended the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, but left after his first day after hearing the dean of the school say, “The golden age of dentistry is over. If you’re here simply because you’re looking to make a lot of money, you’re in the wrong place.” That was his first day.

 Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio)then decided to pursue a career on Wall Street. He started out selling penny-stocks until he was able to build his own firm called Stratton Oakmont Institute where they worked as boiler room, selling penny stocks and defrauding investors with stock sales.

 The movie portrays Belfort’s life, in which he embarks on the journey from his poverty stricken childhood to one of the wealthiest men in the country. Throughout his journey he gambles with his life, his career, and his family, due to his “all or nothing” behavior. This aspect to the story is what made the movie so entertaining, his emence fame and wealth eventually get to his head, showing the lengths some men will go to in order to feel quenched of their urges for more power.

 Belfort’s story also had me very appalled by all of the dirty truths about the workers on Wall Street he revealed. I was astounded to see some of the scenes in the movie knowing that the movie was based on true events.

 I assume that many will think that the movie’s greatest downfall is that Belfort’s behavior and experiences seem to be a bit far fetched. That would be a reasonable assumption due to the fact that that is what Hollywood is known to do, regardless, I believe that that is a necessary aspect to the creation of the film in order to emit the sensation of the story though Belfort’s eyes to the audience.

 The movie contains a bittersweet endin; Belfort eventually gets caught by the FBI and loses everything that he stole from his clients. This is bittersweet because he lost everything had, but it made him a better person, it forced him to stop abusing drugs, and he had to get a new job as a motivational speaker, where he helped many. Overall “The Wolf of Wall Street” was a great movie that crossed many of society’s censoring boundaries, but had a great plot and a strong message. The film’s bittersweet ending puts the cherry on top by leaving a very impactful ending, and leaving a mark on the audience.