The Big Short: A Review
Based on a true story, The Big Short is a raging success with an amazing cast that work impeccably well to give us the best picture of the financial market and its schemes.
Predicting an economic recession can be extremely difficult, but predicting a mortgage bubble can be even harder. Yet, Michael Burry (Christian Bale) believes that an imminent recession is about to burst within the next few years. The US credit and housing bubble is about to collapse and it seems that nobody can understand big banks’ greed. Their lack of foresight and regulation is to, ultimately, cause the collapse in the US economic system.
Our protagonist Jared Vennett, (Ryan Gosling) gets wind of Burry’s investments, with him using this information to his advantage. With the privileged information, this opportunist character convinces Mark Baum (Steve Carell) to bet against his country’s economy.
As bad news travels fast, Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) quickly come to know of Vennett’s genius plans, and so too, decide to make the same investment. Lacking the bureaucracy to participate in these kind of investments, these two garage boys seek help from an insightful and experienced neighbour, Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt), who just so happens to be a retired investment banker tired with the corruption of the banking system.
What is so brilliant about The Big Short is director, Adam McKay’s obvious effort to make the audience comfortable with financial terms that before the film, they were somewhat clueless about. He does so by using Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie to explain the jargon so that the majority of the audience is able to follow conversations had by our main characters.
Although the explanations are incredibly helpful, there are some terms that are left untouched and unexplained, such as ‘AAA packages.’
To fully understand The Big Short, one does not need to be an economist or a finance business man, nonetheless having a read on the main economic terms before purchasing a ticket won’t hurt – and will ensure that the film makes complete sense.
The plot is beautifully presented even though it has three separate, but parallel stories. Normally left forgotten in financial films, The Big Short does not ignore the ‘human side’ of the economy, and in fact, actively incorporates this into its plot.
The financial system and its flaws are presented throughout the film as well as the human emotions that both Burry and Baum have when betting against their own people. With them knowing that the end game will bring them money but suffering to the American society.
This paired with Adam McKay’s use of arty shots and several images from the 2007 recession, gives us a whole picture of Wall Street’s schemes and cynicism. Although the movie provides a lot of information about the US housing market, it does so in a humorous way that grabs the audience immediately.
The Big Short is not short of its stand-out performances, or amazing actors that are adored by audiences worldwide. But, in this film, some of the actors truly exceed expectations, bringing these charismatic characters to life, having them radiate from the screen and straight into the viewers’ hearts. Christian Bale and Steve Carell are simply brilliant throughout the entirety of this film, they are both immensely energizing, likeable and witty and easily outshine some of their previous performances.
Praise to Adam McKay for creating not only a brilliant film, but creating a financial film that breaks the norms and truly entices a new type of audience. The Big Short is magnificent.