I went to the movies recently and saw the new hit movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill called The Wolf of Wall Street. This movie was released on Christmas day and was said to be this season’s most polarizing film. People either love it or they absolutely hate it, there aren’t many people out there that are just saying “it was okay.” People are saying things like it’s wonderful, it’s too long, it’s obscene, it’s Martin Scorsese’s best film since Goodfellas; it all depends on where you look and who you ask.
This movie is about Jordan Belfort; who wrote the book the movie is based on called the Wolf of Wall Street. It shows him as a brilliant yet struggling salesman from Long Island who starts off getting a job at a respected investment firm called L.F. Rothschild and was then laid off after Black Monday. He then goes on to work at a company called Investors Center (a penny stock house) and about a year later teams up with Donnie Azoff (whose name was changed for the movie) and opens his own company in a friend’s car dealership called a Franchise of Stratton Securities, a minor league broker-dealer. Jordan and Donnie earned enough money to buy out Stratton and formed Stratton Oakmont. He built Stratton Oakmont into one of the largest over-the-counter brokerage firms in the country.
As it shows in the film, he did employ old friends, hired numerous prostitutes, used a massive amount of drugs and ultimately went to prison for the schemes that made him rich. A lot of speculation on the film has to do with whether or not it is all true and how it actually affected the people that suffered from this huge scheme. From what I’ve read, a good portion of the story is true but parts of it seem to have been inflated a bit. There was one review where the son of Donnie Azoff (real life name is Danny Porush) says that a lot of this should have been left in the past. I agree with that 100%, even if some of these events are true they could have been left in the past. This Steve Madden stock fraud event affected a lot of people’s lives in a negative way and some of the people in the films lives have changed drastically since then.
As for the drug use shown in the film, as a recovering addict myself I related to a lot of it. In one scene is shows him on a boat thinking he is going to die and saying to Donnie Azoff that he refuses to die sober and to get him some ‘ludes’ aka Quaaludes. For me, all the drinking and drug use in the film didn’t bother me. I actually laughed really hard over how ridiculous and comical some of the scenes were that involved drugs. I personally enjoyed this film; I found it funny and entertaining and thought that the acting was great. I must say though that I have met the real life Danny Porush (Donnie Azoff) and didn’t find him to be anything like he was portrayed in the film. I used to work for his company and found him to be a quiet man who kept to himself. I do understand both sides of the opinions on the film though, I find it interesting to see just how much controversy it has caused. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.