A ‘Wolf’ that Devours Money

Dicaprio outdoes himself in all previous performances

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Mary Cybulski

A still of Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wallstreet" as a dynamic and destructive duo.

The Wolf of Wall Street (rated R) is Leonardo Dicaprio’s best performance in anything so far. He portrays a man who is somehow as heartless as his slave owner role in Django Unchained. This character is an enormously rich man, similar to his role in The Great Gatsby as Jake Gatsby himself, yet Jordan Belfort is far greedier. Belfort is meant to be seen as a “wolf,” or a completely carnivorous man, and Dicaprio portrays that terrifyingly well. The plot, the characters and pacing of this movie are well-constructed and enjoyable.

The audience is immediately introduced to Belfort’s luxurious yet disturbing and unhealthy lifestyle as a rich and thoughtless man. They are then brought back to the beginning of the story when Belfort was simply a middle-class man with a big dream of becoming a billionaire.

In pursuing this dream, Belfort loses much of his old self, including his morality and humanity. The audience watches him become corrupted by money and power as he climbs the economic and social ladder. This movie does a good job of proving that greed and arrogance are extremely damaging – even to a person who was once normal and caring.

The characters, although most of them are ill-spirited, are lovable and entertaining. The main characters are Jordan Belfort, his first wife Theresa, his new wife Naomi, his righthand-man Donnie, and his many employees. Belfort most definitely a strong enough character to follow throughout the movie. He is unpredictable and always changing, which keeps the audience interested in him even though they are most likely disgusted with his choices.

Theresa, played by Cristin Milioti, is also casted perfectly. Milioti has an overall innocent-looking face. Her features make her easy to sympathize with as well as relate to since she does not look fake or generic. There is extreme contrast between her appearance and Belfort’s “trophy” wife. Naomi, played by Margot Robbie. Her face is always dressed up in make-up. Robbie does a  good job in this movie as a rich man’s wife who is far too good for him. She turns out to be quite loyal and not so greedy.

Lastly, there’s Belfort’s primary partner in crime, Donnie, played by Jonah Hill. The comedian actor excellently portrays this stingy and rat-like character. He’s what pushes Jordan to make certain bad choices and he feeds off of him like a parasite.

The pacing in a movie is usually what makes or breaks it. The Wolf of Wall Street, being a three-hour long movie, moves at a slow pace while still telling the entire story. The fact that most of the movie takes its time makes the parts that are quick stand out. Viewers leave the movie feeling as though they lived Jordan’s life with him because of the realistic timing.

I highly recommend seeing this movie if you love Leonardo Dicaprio, Jonah Hill, or energetic movies that tell serious stories with some comedy relief added into the mix. However, keep in mind that it is extremely explicit. In fact, if I had to change one thing about this movie, it would be to delete some of the really inappropriate or explicit scenes. They are not out of place, since they serve to prove points about Belfort’s lifestyle, but they are probably off-putting to most people. In other words, I would just like this movie to be suitable for a wider audience so that more people could see it. As long as you know what you’re in for, The Wolf of Wall Street is entertaining, fun, and interesting.