American black comedy, one of recent times’ top fraud films and now a cult classic, The Wolf of Wall street was directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Terence Winter, based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort, a real-life and convicted rogue US stockbroker. It premiered in New York’s Ziegfield Theatre on 17th December 2013. It was widely released on 25th December 2013 in the US, reaching cinemas in the UK on 17th January 2014. With a budget of $100 million, The Wolf of Wall Street reached a gross total of $392 million. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 25th March 2014.
The story follows protagonist Jordan Belfort whose trajectory as a stockbroker selfishly gathering up as much money for himself as possible is dictated by early influence Mark Hanna. Following a turbulence in fortunes, and the crash of Black Monday, Belfort enters into a wholly fraudulent enterprise with his friends, marries his mistress, and runs his fraud with great returns. The movie delivers his life of absolute decadence, prostitutes, profanity and drugs. The fraud, and all co-conspirators’ intertwined relationships unravel, as the authorities, namely the FBI and the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission close in on the fraudsters. Turning state witness, Belfort secures himself a reduced 36-month prison sentence in a minimum security prison.
With 592 instances of the F-bomb, and its depiction of sex and drugs, the film was banned in 5 countries. Not only did it mark Scorsese and DiCaprio’s fifth collaboration, but at the time it was Scorsese’s highest-grossing production. While DiCaprio was paid the sum of $25 million for his leading role, he fought off stiff competition from Brad Pitt to secure the rights to Belfort’s memoirs. He was coached by Jordan Belfort himself, to perfectly execute his mannerisms and behaviours.