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Film Review: The Big Short

The Big Short, directed by Adam McKay, which opens December, is a film that every American citizen must see. Based on Michael Lewis’s bestselling non-fiction book with the same title, tells a gripping story of the 2008 financial crisis, or better known as the market crash, that shattered Wall Street and devastated millions of Americans with debt, unemployment, and homeless.

A few clever Wall Street investors and bankers foreshadowed the burst of the market’s bubble and used their secret knowledge to figure out how to gain a profit while other insiders tried to figure out how to prevent the crash from happening. These few men include star OSCAR nominated cast members such as Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt who all illustrate very distinct and unique personalities of the stock market industry.

Bale depicts hedge fund manager, Michael Burry-an unsociable yet incredibly smart metal-head, who walks around the office barefoot but doesn’t care because he knows his stuff. Carell portrays hedge funder Mark Baum- a sharp-mouthed Wall Street hater, who is seeks revenge in the stock market by getting to the bottom of the problem. Ryan Gosling represents the narcissistic, obnoxious New York banker as Jared Vennett with an all-over spray tan and a grinning smirk whom at times narrates the events. Finally, Brad Pitt, who gets less screen time but is a crucial character, exemplifies the banker that stepped away from Wall Street before the crash, Ben Rickert.

The cast certainly did their research upon taking their roles because the language used in The Big Short is not the easiest words to digest. Although the lingo is something financial moguls would recognize, Mckay collaborates with the film’s screenwriter Christopher Randolph in order to eloquently explain some of the terms. The characters repeatedly refer to the “synthetic collateralized debt obligation” which ultimately changes the Wall Street game. McKay also follows what Lewis intended for the book and breaks the fourth wall from time to time by having Vennett (Gosling) look into the camera and sweet talk this financial foreign language. This way, audience members who may not be affiliated with Wall Street can understand certain references.

More than anything, this film is a history lesson for everyone-despite how familiar one may be with the 2008 financial crisis. Essentially, The Big Short tells Americans exactly what happened—a big fat lie banks were telling to their customers and investors. This lie grew exponentially, to the point in which banks were giving hundreds of thousands of faulty loans to people who had bad credit and no stable income. This lie had a crippling effect on America’s economy, and as a result, the economy is still recovering today.

Experience The Big Short, in theaters December 11th, 2015.

The Big Short – Trailer:

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgqG3ITMv1Q

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