‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ in review

A film that is downright vulgar, egocentric, misogynistic and above all else, captivating

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Leonardo DiCaprio portrays millionaire stockbroker Jordan Belfort in a movie aiming to live up to the decadent lifestyle of the man behind the story.

For those who have seen it, they recall the iconic line that sums up the entire movie and the main character perfectly.

“Let me tell you something. There’s no nobility in poverty. I’ve been a poor man, and I’ve been a rich man. And I choose rich every f***ing time.”

This line can be attributed to Jordan Belfort (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio), a millionaire Wall Street stockbroker in the Oscar nominated motion picture, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

It is based loosely on the true story of Belfort. The name of the movie is derived from his memoir of the same name, which is the basis of the events depicted in throughout the film.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” depicts Belfort’s early life working his way through struggles on Wall Street, the eventual erection of his own firm, “Stratton Oakmont” and the struggles that come along with immense wealth, endless resources and living a life of wild excess.

Upon the film’s initial release in 2013, the Martin Scorsese-directed feature toed the line between distasteful and a masterpiece of modern cinema. It features extensive swearing (3.2 curse words per minute to be exact), graphic depictions of various sexual acts, drugs and domestic abuse. Many a film wouldn’t be able to juggle all of these aspects and still make an intelligent and thought provoking movie, but “The Wolf of Wall Street” manages to do just that.

One of the most captivating aspects of the film is how the story conveys the struggle between a man who wants to bring joy and wealth to others, but also subconsciously wants to hoard all of the profit, women and attention for himself.

A great example of this is when DiCaprio’s character is leading a sales meeting in front of his staff, and he starts discussing his relationship with his female employee. She came to him in a time of great financial need, asking for a job and a $5,000 advance to pay her bills. Instead of giving her that amount of money, he opts to give her $25,000 as a gift to help her get on her feet. However, he seems like almost a different person at times.

A common trait of Belfort in the film is that he is always after the cash, no matter the moral sacrifice. It doesn’t matter how bad the stock he is selling is, how much money the person is going to lose investing in a company with no potential or even if he has to break a few laws to keep as much profit and percentage points as possible; Belfort is willing to do it.

Beyond the evil genius persona of Belfort, the film is incredibly well shot. It utilizes vast landscape shots and slow motion shots to convey a frenzy of motion and lighting that makes the film appear as if it was shot in a naturally lit environment. This only adds to the eventual realization that this man actually exists and his life is actually a reality.

Combining the intelligent plot along with the A-List caliber production adds up to a movie that is as effective as Belfort’s natural salesman abilities. This is a quality that is essential to the film’s delivery, because the three-hour runtime of the film could easily lend itself to drag at any moment.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is a film that isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t a by-the-numbers love story, an inspirational tale of a man with a heart of gold or even a success story.

It is instead a look into the real world of wealth and fame and what it can do to someone when material possessions are all they have left.

If you’re interested in checking out the film for yourself, it will be playing this weekend in the Woodland Theater of Davies Center. The available show times include 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12. Admission is free with a Blugold Card or Campus Films Pass.