By Ryann Deutsch
While it’s certainly not the big blockbuster of 2015, The Big Short is a movie you will not want to miss. The movie is based on the true story of four groups that predicted the market crash of 2007-2008 and bet against the banks, making themselves a fortune.
Based on the nonfiction bestseller by Michael Lewis, The Big Short is written and directed by Adam McKay. It sounds crazy that the man behind Anchorman and other Will Ferrell comedies could tell this story right, but he does. McKay manages to successfully tell a serious story in a fun and comedic way. Through its writing, this movie informs the viewer of the twists and turns of the financial world and its lingo, all while remaining easy to understand and entertaining. The impact of the market crash is seen from another viewpoint and allows the viewer to understand the complicated world of Wall Street.
Adam McKay does a good job of keeping this movie visually fresh and unusual. Throughout the film there a quick montages of the rush of Wall Street executives juxtaposed by the many Americans affected by the crash. Another unusual touch is the amount of celebrity cameos. When the Wall Street lingo gets too complicated, McKay brings in a celebrity to dumb it down for us. Yet, this doesn’t feel random or out of place, it flows well with the rest of the movie.
Along with Adam Mckay’s direction, the cast helps propel this movie to its success. Christian Bale plays Michael Burry, a genius money manager with limited social skills. Burry discovers that the whole American housing market is propped up on faulty housing loans which will collapse. So, Burry decides to take all of his clients’ money without permission and bet against the banks. All of the Wall Street Executives dismiss Burry as a crazy man except for Jared Vernett (Ryan Gosling), a Deutsche Bank dealmaker.
Vernett loves Burry’s idea and decides to follow suit. Vernett intensifies the stakes and further entangles the many lives on Wall Street by partnering with Mark Baum (Steve Carell). Baum manages a hedge fund branching off of Morgan Stanley. Carell does an excellent job of showing the remorse and moral conflicts in making big money. His character adds a sense of reality by truly reflecting on what it will mean if they profit from betting against the banks. Baum realizes that for him to make money, millions of Americans will lose their homes, jobs, and life savings.
The final touch to this all-star cast is Ben Rickett, played by Brad Pitt. Rickett is a banker who has been out of the game and doesn’t want to get dragged back into the world of Wall Street. That is until two young money managers inform him of the faulty housing loans and he regretfully joins them in betting against the banks.
Nominated for five Oscars, this movie is worth the watch. The Big Short adds another dimension to the 2007 market crash and the cut-throat world of Wall Street that was behind it. This movie gives the viewer a clear understanding of the complicated scheme while remaining understandable and entertaining.