The Big Short is a fantastic film based on the nonfiction bestseller by Michael Lewis. What seems like a story out of a work of fiction, this film takes the audience back during the time of the 2008 financial crisis.
I didn’t know much about this film going in. In fact, the first time I heard about this film was when the trailer was released a few months ago. This film has basically been out of the limelight, even though the cast has résumés that can out due most actors. Director Adam McKay, best known for his films such as Anchorman, or the Will Farrell Funny or Die sketches, took on this dramatic piece with such vision. But it is perhaps the work of the cast that really makes the film.
The movie’s premise sets off with doctor-turned-money-manager, Michael Burry (Christian Bale). Who after doing intense research on mortgage loans, finds out the banks have made a huge mistake in giving out subprime home loans to those who have bad credit. Burry then goes to big stock broker firms such as Fannie Mae, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs, in order to basically bet millions of dollars that theses firms will all self destruct due to the instability of mortgage loans. Soon, other bankers begin to get wind of Burry’s “bet” against these firms. After looking into the situation, Deutsche Bank mastermind Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), begins to make deals of his own. Now, Gosling is the “cherry” to the sundae, here. Gosling’s comedic timing as well as his hilarious narration (while breaking the fourth wall) is simply genius.
Because no one believes in Vennett’s idea, he wrangles in the help of a small Wall Street firm named FrontPoint, a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley. FrontPoint is run by Mark Baum (Steve Carell). I had hoped that Carell would have shown more of his comedic skills in the film. Much like Gosling was doing. But that was not so. I can’t be disappointed, because I believe that much of this was due to his character’s personal tragedy, at the time. But to be honest there is some of that genuine Carell that takes place on screen. And boy, is it funny. Much like these other men trying to take down Wall Street, there’s Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt), who in an effort to break away from the disgusting Wall Street environment, befriends young money managers (Finn Wittrock and John Magaro).
The Big Short was simply superb on so many levels. This film will definitely make you think and wonder what is going on now. Is history beginning to repeat itself for another time? If you can’t understand the technical lingo of CDOs, ISDAs, or Adjustable Rate Mortgages, don’t worry. Throughout the film we have celebrities such as Margot Robbie and Selena Gomez trying to explain to us, stupid people, how this whole situation turned to shit! McKay’s directing does get a little loopy sometimes in an effort to mix comedy, drama, and documentary, all in one. But this is definitely a film that will pay off, if you go see it.
The Big Short
Directed by: Adam McKay
Starring: Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Brad Pitt