Leonardo DiCaprio Month #1: The Wolf of Wall Street, The Great Gatsby

The Wolf of Wall Street

It was 1987, and Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, fulfilled his dream of entering a Wall Street brokerage firm. However, after a while there, he realized that his dream was much bigger, so he decided to open his own firm, which grew bigger and bigger in the midst of scandals, corruption and fraud. Apart from DiCaprio, there are other great appearances like Matthew McConaughey, with a great scene at the beginning, Margot Robbie, as Belfort’s second wife, and Jonah Hill, his business (and party) partner. This Martin Scorsese film, categorized as black comedy, depicted something present in society that probably we do not talk about much. As some people say, this is a movie about sin. Probably because during the whole movie we are faced with these people surrendering to all the indulgences we can think of. Here, the quintessential problem of “easy money” is portrayed with humor and characters that go to extremes to continue with that cash-flow that allows them to have that extravagant life they crave for. At first, we see them enjoying their money with parties, sex and more drugs they can hold. Then, we see their transformation into amoral individuals who only think about how to make more, without thinking of consequences for them or for others. I remember feeling exhausted at the end of the movie only by watching what they were doing with their lives, in the most unrestrained way. Performances were outstanding, powerful and completely believable. Definitely, this movie deserves a watch.

The Great Gatsby

Based on the novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald, this story starts with the recounts of Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) while at a psychiatric institution. Here, he tells the story about the summer of 1922, when he was living in Long Island with Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) as his neighbor. Jay Gatsby was the host of the most lavish parties during that summer. There were many things adding to the idea of mystery this man wanted to manifest, which incorporated to his social success. For one, at first no one really knew who he were. The film was directed by Baz Luhrmann, also having performances from Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton. Gradually, Carraway’s stories start to unveil the true purpose of those sumptuous parties, showing us a more humane part of the characters. Depicting a literature classic is not always an easy task. Nevertheless, Luhrmann brought some modern twists that complemented well with the context of the 1920’s New York City, as well as all the parties and luxury. As in many other of his movies, music played a protagonist role. However, instead of the 1920’s jazz, the soundtrack was far more modern, without losing the spirit of the era. One visible feature of the film is that its mood can be devided in two parts. The first part of the movie is overfilled by people having fun, great dresses, jewels, expensiveness, and joy, while the second half is a lot darker, nostalgic, and even gloomy. Anyway, it might be a good way to watch a classic.


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