Saturday, January 18, 2014

Very Disappointing

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013)

Produced By: Red Granite Pictures and others
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie and others
Pros: Well-developed character
Cons: Bad script, bad story, too long, too loud
Rating: * of 5 (1 of 5)

I heard a lot of wonderful things about this movie and took off early on a rather busy day to watch it. And boy, do I wish I had stayed where I was. Before I come to specifics, let me say that my faith on the IMDb ratings is now broken for good. If it's a majority who gave it a high rating, then the majority is plain dumb.

Coming to specifics: there are no specifics. This movie has no story. Of the 180 minutes released in the US, going by the run-time in Dubai, at least 80 minutes are pure pornography. This is nothing more than a gimmick to keep the viewers coming, not a stroke of brilliance in terms of storyline. And no, the story does not justify it. The script is puerile - the repeated use of the 'F' word seems to be necessary to start off, but by including it in virtually every sentence, it feels more like the characters are teenagers who have just learned the word and want to use it again and again to look cool. That from a bunch of adults who lead hard lives. You'd think that at 180 minutes, there would be a long story. There isn't - the first 120 minutes are devoted to teach you how to use too much money and once the story does emerge, it is so silly that it could be summarized in a few lines - Fat guy goofs up. Smart guy plays tricks. His wife starts to hate him for that. The Law eventually catches up. But smart guy wins, because he's smart. That's it - that is the entire story. There are no subplots, no subtleties. The entire story follows exactly that order. I might have read books like that when I was in junior high!

As for acting, it was mostly pathetic. The most that characters have to do is shout at the top of their voices - and not shout much that makes sense either. It's all about the style - in fact, there is no substance. Even the little child called out for her mom seemed to be made up! Perhaps only DiCaprio managed to get in some good acting, not just because he is a good actor but because the script only allowed his character to be developed. And well-developed it certainly was, which is the only reason I gave this movie a 1.

For the final verdict, The Wolf of Wall Street is  a very-poorly made movie, which appeals to people's desires for sales rather than any real story. It might be based on a true story, but that does not justify all the defects of the movie. This is not the first biopic made and those movies, most of them at least, was not so bad as this one. Avoid it like the plague, no matter how many Oscars it wins. (OTFS)

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