A Contradictory Life

Plagiarising with permission

| 1 Comment

Wolf of Wall Street - Jordan Belfort (book)/Martin Scorsese (movie)

I have been trying to my write my book and movie “review” on The Wolf of Wall Street for a a while but after I read @bangersandnash‘s thoughts on the movie, I cannot come up with anything original or creative that would sum it up so perfectly.

I absolutely loved his and agree completely with him! Although, we do seem to be in the minority. I am yet to hear a negative comment on it outside of a few of the comments at the bottom of his original post which I have inserted here with his kind permission:

“I was late to the party on this one, but yesterday I finally watched The Wolf Of Wall Street. The first two thirds in the comfortable seats of cinema 1 in The Zone, the last third, on my couch with a cup of tea. Why? Because I went to watch the afternoon show and eventually could not justify wasting any more of my incredibly sacred Sunday daylight hours on a pretty well done mashup of a bunch of great movies.

Wolf Of Wall Street wasn’t bad. Perhaps it was the buildup that ruined it, as with most things. Weeks of people telling me it was the best movie they have seen in ages. People I hardly know messaging me to tell me that I ‘HAVE to see it!’.

Perhaps it was the bodaciousness of it all that got everyone so excited. Except that depravity for depravities sake is not entertaining, not for three hours. And not if your idea of a crazy night out is a few pints down the pub with your mates. Shocking an audience into loving your movie with drugs, sex, and candles up the bum may have worked a decade ago. The couple in the seats in front of me probably get up to that stuff on a Tuesday night.

Scorsese had three hours to sell us on the characters. I can’t think of one characters name other than Leo’s. Who were they? We get the briefest of looks into Hills character – which looked completely ad-libbed, and as for Leo’s, well, who cares because he does coke off a pair of tits. Right? His dad? Well, he was straight out of Family Guy, so no explanation needed there, and his wife was too good looking to question. Then there was a wig, the guy from My Name Is Earl, and an Asian dude.

Perhaps I’m asking too much. I think I am. You know, wanting developed characters and all. Wolf Of Wall Street is classified as a black comedy, and Jordan Belfort was an actual human. I should have done my own character research before going in. And also cast from my mind the fact that Scorsese made this. Maybe that was it. I was expecting Goodfellas, Casino, Taxi Driver. I was expecting anything but a splash in the shallow end of the kiddies pool.

Of course I don’t rely on great characters to enjoy a movie. A story is key too, and this story could have been told in a third of the time. There is only so much of the same thing a person can take, and The Wolf Of Wall Street was a lot of the same thing, again, and again, and again. In the closing twenty minutes there is an attempt at something a little deeper – the non-alcoholic beer, the final sex scene between Jordan and his wife, but I was trying to decide if I’d put enough sugar in my tea, so I missed it.

It was my fault though. I wanted this.

The Wolf Of Wall Street is the Hangover III interspersed with unconvincing monologues and ad-lib sequences that would find a better home in the box-set extended versions of every Jonah Hill movie ever made.

Matthew McConaughey was the best thing about the movie. He owned the first fifteen minutes then disappeared, leaving the last two hours and forty five minutes to revel in its own repetitive mess.” – @bangersandnash

I am struggling to finish the book as well. Rolling Stone commented that it is “gleefully crass and terribly sad; you actually feel for the guy” but I think it is irritatingly obtuse and self-aggrandising. I do not feel sorry for him at all but I have also never been addicted to power or drugs so what do I know; maybe he can not help himself?

As part of my virtual book club please join the conversation below –  have you read the book and/or seen the movie? What did you think of it?