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The Big Short

The Big Short is the true story about three groups of men who discover the housing market is unstable and seek to profit against the big banks, only to deeply regret it when it leads to the Financial Crisis of 2007. I'll admit that before seeing The Big Short, I knew next to nothing about the market crash (how I passed Economics in High School, I'll never know) and even afterwards, I was still a little fuzzy on some of the details, but overall, the film really helped me understand what was going on and kept me emotionally involved. I have a feeling that if I watched the film a few more times and did my own research on the terms mentioned, I'd definitely get the full picture about what happened. Of course, I couldn't become emotionally involved without the necessary elements. The film features an all-star cast of players ranging from Christian Bale and Steve Carrell to Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. The films uses their abilities mixed with great writing to full effect, wonderfully capturing the range of comedy to drama. The feel and tone of the film is instantly portrayed from the first image, is consistent throughout and flows naturally into the darker heavier scenes later on in the story quite well. The comedic side is balls to the walls crazy, portraying the feel of a pseudo-documentary with news footage, the breaking of the fourth wall, texts and pictures at the bottom of the screen and random celebrity cameos to explain some of the complex terms used. This not only helps the film really feel like its taking place in the mid 2000s, but also captures what the main characters are like as people: they're cocky, angry jerks, but they're likable jerks. They want to fix the wrongs the banks have caused, they want to pursue their dreams, they want to do right by their families and co-workers. This is none better captured than in the performance of Steve Carrell, who I really think is the main character. Carrell's Mark Baummstarts the film very self-absorbed and angry at the big banks for being jerks and also has unintentionally pushed his family to the side but as the film progresses, he becomes angry for the right reasons and also despondent about what's going on. Like the overall film itself, when Mark and the other characters feel the real weight of the situation hit them, we feel it too and it really sinks in. I will admit though that because the film moves at such a break-neck speed with its comedy, I fell a little behind in understanding the terms, and as a result, didn't feel the full emotional impact of the drama when it hit. But there were enough quiet moments, clear explanations, and visual storytelling that I was still fully engaged. Indeed, when I left the theater, I had started to get angry. Like I mentioned above, if I watched the film again and got the full picture, I know I'd end up furious. Other than that, my only other complaint was more of a personal one in that I wanted to see more of Christian Bale and Brad Pitt's characters in an emotional sense. Bale's character is the one that starts the whole thing off and he does portray a full emotional arc of social awkwardness and guilt that he may have screwed up, but at the same time, he felt more like a passive character who actively starts things off but then rides in the back seat the rest of the way through the movie. With Brad Pitt, he is wonderfully involved with a full emotional arc as well but he was a secondary character in the story of the hopeful entrepreneurs, and I just wish he had been more front and center as well. Overall, I wanted to see more of all these characters. To continue following them in their everyday lives and in their adventures in the financial world. In a TV show perhaps? In Summary: The Big Short is a well crafted,, wonderfully acted. hilarious and dramatic film that not only made me feel smarter about something that I know nothing about, but also made realize how serious the real world situation it portrayed was, despite a few moments where I was lost in the economics talk. Rating 4.5 Stars out of 5.


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