• Joshua Buck

The Big Short (2015) Review

In 2006-2007 a group of investors bet against the US mortgage market. In their research, they discover how flawed and corrupt the market is.

Sounds boring as anything. Now for this review, I am going to try and be as unbiased as possible because this film probably sneaks into my top 5 movies of all time, and I won't mention what the others are.

The narrative structure of this movie is rather formulaic however it has a different element to it that I think is absolutely amazing. It follows three storylines that result in the same ending. Yes, its 3 different perspectives that have the same outcome and might not seem like a fresh idea of how to convey a narrative but this was the first time that I saw this be done so to me it was exciting and a narrative style I reckon we will see more in the future. The dialogue was spot on. With The Big Short being a film about the 2008 crash and mortgages in the economic market I expected it to be confusing and phrases to be thrown about that I never heard of before and that rang true. But that isn’t a bad thing because the film was self-aware and when things got too complicated, they cut away to Margot Robbie in the bath explain what they were on about or Selena Gomes. The film was in my opinion expertly done with dealing with the language of economics but didn’t treat its audience like idiots. It sounds like a hard thing to balance and this film is an excellent example of perfect craft from writers Charles Randolph and Adam Mckay.

The film did really well in educating its audience about economics and how the market worked to give a real understanding of how something like that happened did happen. The way the explained it was a lot to get your head around but at the same time, to me anyway, it does make sense and I think the film did a great job of explaining the complex issues and stripping it down to the basics so everybody could understand it.

There were some big-name actors in this movie with Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. All of whom have been in the game for a long time all very experienced actors and they also brought that to this film as well.

Steve Carrell's performance was brilliant as this brilliant extraverted character that eventually brought through his great internal struggle. Christian Bale did a great job of seeming like he was crazy betting against something that had never happened in history before it did. His performance of this guy that seemed to be like he knew what he was doing and felt like the whole world was crazy was really great to see and even when he was right you never saw the character say I told you so. Brad Pitt had the role of being this mentor to the two youngsters that made a living out of their garage but his role really hammered home the importance of the situation that the world was in. You could tell his character wasn’t happy but had kind of accepted that the world he was living in wasn’t right. I really got a feel like something was standing over him every time I saw him on screen. Ryan Gosling provided an excellent voice-over and his role in the movie was so funny. Using his power and to me, he felt like a dodgy guy trying to sell you and old rubbish car to make money. He portrayed this really well and he was a great comedic light throughout the movie.

Comedy Whilst this film dealt with a very serious real-life event that could’ve been so boring the fact that they made it funny was the perfect way to educate the issue behind a wall of laughs. I think this was a genius choice of screenwriting and directing and combined with the director’s style of filming the movie almost like a documentary I feel like it worked really well.

Because of the director’s choice of choosing to film it like a documentary it made it even funnier when the film broke into the fourth wall territory. One prime example is Ryan Gosling calling with quantitative data ‘Yang’. Yang, as we know him turns to the camera, breaks the fourth wall and introduces himself as ‘John’ and then educates the audience about his background and kind of puts Ryan Gosling's character to shame.

To conclude, I love every element of this movie, the filming style the performances and the fact that it was funny whilst being educational to me is something that every movie based on a real-life event of this kind should be like. Balanced with the comedy and breaking the fourth wall with a purpose and not just because they can as we have seen in other movies meant that to me this made The Big Short one of my favourite movies ever (that I have seen).

I rate this movie: 5/5.

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