The narrative is filled with many memorable lines, probably taken from the book, and destined to be aped, much like Gordon Gekko's quotes from Oliver Stone's 1987 Wall Street, which prophetically took place the same year the stock market crashed. This is where this new movie begins, so some might see it as a sequel of sorts, showing how young stockbrockers picked up the pieces, in this case penny stocks, and moved on.
|The world is my oyster|
It reminded me a lot of Glengarry Glen Ross, especially when DiCaprio's Jordan is exhorting his traders to push the Steve Madden IPO, but Scorsese pumps up the volume and turns this one into a wild ride much like De Palma's classic Scarface, as his Belfort snorts his way to the top of Wall Street, not much unlike Tony Montana. A success story in hyper drive.
The most amusing aspect of this film is the evangelical quality. Jordan becomes a kind of latter day saint in the eyes of his disciples, a group of 20 he literally picks off the street, who become loyal to him as he lets them in on his trading secrets. He moves from taking advantage of the average joe to fleecing the rich on penny stocks which were virtually unregulated at the time. He pumps up his crew like a motivational speaker, creating a excessively crude environment in his office where virtually anything goes. He had to ban sex in he bathrooms because it had gotten out of control. Ultimately, Donnie Azoff, as played by Jonah Hill, proves to be his Judas Iscariot.
|Scorsese talking sex|
You figure the real Jordan was much more prosaic. DiCaprio appears to roll in the billions with a yacht that makes him look like a James Bond villain, whereas the real Belfort apparently was only able to strip about $200 million off his clients, and forced to pay back half in restitution. Apparently, he never got much beyond $10 million before his probation was over and is now fighting attempts to take the profits from his books and movie rights.
It's not like this film sheds any light on the period. Instead, Scorsese revels in the conspicuous display of wealth much like he did in Casino. I guess Kyle Chandler offers some kind of moral center as FBI agent Patrick Denham, but he plays his role with the deadpan quality of a 40s private dick. Scorsese has these first-person narratives down pat and stings you along for nearly 3 hours on Jordan Belfort's wild ride.