FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: “The Big Short” stars Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, Drive), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, American Psycho), Steve Carell (Foxcatcher, The Office [TV series]), Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler, The Lincoln Lawyer), Finn Wittrock (Unbroken, Noah), John Magaro (Carol, My Soul to Take), Jeremy Strong (The Judge, Zero Dark Thirty), Hamish Linklater (Battleship, 42), Rafe Spall (Life of Pi, Prometheus), and Brad Pitt (Moneyball, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). It is directed by Adam McKay (Step Brothers, The Other Guys) who also co-wrote the screenplay with Charles Randolph (Love & Other Drugs, The Life of David Gale). Based on a true story, this film takes place in 2005, where the housing business is booming as usual. Houses are selling like crazy, but yet no one is able to point out the chaos on the horizon. A bubble has been created, and is soon ready to burst. We follow three perspectives of this story, and how every focal character tries to make a profit off of America’s downfall.
Everyone knows about the house market crash of 2008. Heck, we lived through it. People lost jobs, houses, and the U.S. plummeted. But I won’t go into detail on whose fault it was or how it all happened; I am only here to talk about this movie. I watched a film not too long ago on the housing crash last month entitled “99 Homes.” It focused on the lives of the everyman and how one guy benefited off of foreclosing and reselling homes. With this release, we get a taste of a different perspective (or perspectives). We are in the minds of businessmen; people who saw this crash coming, and tried to benefit off it. Now, this may seem harsh. These character may look cruel to the people of the United States, but really, what could they do? No one would listen to them, and the crash was inevitable. When it came to the plot of this entire flick, it was well-orchestrated. There was a lot of ground to cover, and with three separate story arcs, it was strenuous to keep up with. I will tell you that you may not understand a thing that is going on in this. Complicated, yet simple when understood, words are bounced around like a beach ball, and I was constantly asking questions as to how certain things happened. Thankfully, my dad was there to answer them. I would not call myself stupid, nor you if you could not understand, but it was just a lot to absorb in so “little” time. We are consistently being pushed to the limit of simple knowledge, and I give props to this film for trying to break this system down. It was even funny at times when they would switch the camera over to a celebrity to simplify a phrase or meaning for us. They tried, but that could be a problem. That is because it takes up time. Trying to force this plot on us and having to constantly explain takes up development time for characters and the situation at hand. Trust me, we needed explanation, but if the script was broken down beforehand instead of throwing us hard terms and then softening the blow, the pace would be quicker. Don’t get me wrong though, I enjoyed learning about this. It is great when I can be taught by a film and I took substance from this release, learning how the crash happened and certain terms that I never heard of before. This story swiftly moved through time, taking us from 2005 to 2008. Like I said with the characters, it is a challenge to keep up with all of them. There are some memorable figures, like Gosling’s and Carell’s, and then there are fillers, like Magaro’s and Pitt’s. They are necessary in terms of telling from a true story point of view, but when discussing an actual film, some characters were not needed. I will say that they all brought their own style to the table, however. They all put on a show, and I enjoyed watching all of them. The casting for this was terrific, as they were all funny and interesting. My favorite character had to be Ryan Gosling’s, for he offered the most humor and had a certain charm about him. When it came to directing, I will say that it was original. It was odd to watch this film because of how different it was. You would think that it would be a clean-cut drama, but it was infused with comedy that linked together random scenes which actually worked. Plus, it gave a mockumentary style most of the time, with our characters breaking the fourth wall quite often. I loved seeing this story unfold as the direction was enticing. Moving to the issues with this release, there is not much to say. I have already stated my point about how complicated the story can be, but it did come with a great reward in that I learned new things. Others may not have this opportunity, however, and may be left in the dark. Really, it is only that and how this film took more of a narrative approach on the issue of the house market crash, rather than letting us connect to these characters and their dilemma. Sure, I felt for some of them at times, but my mind kept shifting more so to the problem at hand being told to us rather than how our character emotionally went through it. It works for a great documentary, but that is not what this movie was intending to aim for. In the end, this was an enlightening experience on the house market crash as it introduced us to witty characters and offered humor to push the slow concept along. I had fun in seeing it. FINAL SCORE: 87%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: