Review in 140 words or less: The Wolf of Wall Street

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street.
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Note: It is incredibly tough to crunch a four page review into 140 words. But, given the attention span of today’s readers, we have to embrace change with a heavy heart.

The Goodfella of Wall Street
Rating: ****

The Wolf of Wall Street is Martin Scorsese’s homecoming. If you set aside the visually appealing Hugo and the dark Shutter Island, you’ll have a career spanning the best and the most vicious films we have seen in the last forty years.

The Wolf of Wall Street is also Leonardo DiCaprio’s “grand slam home run”. He has been on the bench – Scorsese’s bench – waiting for his turn. Every DiCaprio–Scorsese collaboration – Gangs of New York, Aviator, The Departed and Shutter Island – has been a joy ride. But only The Wolf of Wall Street showcases his abilities.

The Wolf of Wall Street has all the qualities of a classic Scorsese film – drugs, money, women, sex, unexpected humour and the obsessive compulsive character. If you’re a hardcore Scorsese fan, this one’s for you.

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Review: Django Unchained

Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained.
Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained.

Tarantino Unchained. Django Not So Much.

Django Unchained
Rating: **

In the climactic shootout, a wounded baddie calls out “D-jango”, to which the titular character replies “D silent” and shoots him dead. This scene although action-packed is also incredibly funny. Jamie Foxx is known for playing the fast-talking African-American in films such as Collateral. But, he has also shown his dark comedy side in films such as Horrible Boss and The Soloist. In Django Unchained, he goes all out in the peculiar Quentin Tarantino style. Django Unchained plays out like a Chuck Norris film, bowing its hat to heroism and the antics, popular heroes do. This includes the act of blowing up a colonial villa with dynamite, and watching it with a cigarette in the mouth, and funky sunglasses, right in the middle of the night.

In a Quentin Tarantino film, the actors never have trouble in playing their characters, as Tarantino is a workhorse, who will not let you slip. The film also stars Christoph Waltz in the role of a dentist-turned-bounty hunter. Waltz showed us just what he can do in Tarantino’s WW2 flick, Inglourious Basterds, and in Django Unchained, he is the same charming self with an attitude and a hidden revolver.

I’ve never seen Tarantino present much detail to art or music as he does in Django Unchained. It’s amazing that the filmmaker has grown up to make a movie that combines classic 18th century art and music with Tarantino-esque violence.