Sunday, 14 February 2016

Movie Review: The Big Short

What makes a script so good that it needs 4 of the biggest Hollywood actors (Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt) to be a part of it? Based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis, this is a film about four characters: Micheal Burry (Christian Bale), Mark Baum (Steve Carell), Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) and Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) who are involved in the financial world and how they come to aware of the imminent collapse of the housing market and credit bubble in 2007/2008 (Subprime Mortgage Crisis) that caused trillions of US dollar losses, millions of evictions and foreclosures, millions of people suddenly lose their jobs and became unemployed.
As the story unfolds, the film showed how irresponsible and greedy the banking institutions are. No one in Wall Street really cares about what's going to happen as long as it sells and the money comes into their pockets. The financial industry is filled with so many 'complex' financial instruments designed by the big banks to confuse you so that you'll believe that your money is in the 'safe' hands of the advisors/bankers who just taking care of their own personal interests. The film is incredibly thought-provoking and engages the audience by having you see the different perspectives of the film's characters and how they viewed the downfall of the financial system despite the fact some of the characters never actually interact with each other, they're just all connected by a series of events that enabled them to see the collapse of the housing market before anyone else did.
As expected, the film presents a story that's based on true events with exceptional performances by the casts. How it tackles and explains the financial jargons and processes that are difficult to understand without feeling bored, lost and confused is truly impressive. Aside from Ryan Gosling's character amusing way of explaining Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs), the film also includes cameos of Anthony Bourdain, Margot Robbie, Richard Thaler and Selena Gomez speaking to you directly to explain the financial jargons (subprime, credit ratings, Synthetic CDOs) used in the film. In short, the housing market system is filled with many bad loans that are guaranteed to fail, the bonds (contracts) for these housing properties was rated as 'safe' by well-known credit rating agencies and sold at higher price by the big banks over the course of several years, deceiving investors to put their entire fortune buying them. The film also showed and made the audience realized despite what happened, there's still no proper and precise regulations devised by the governmental system to control and prevent such crisis to ever happen again.
Worthy to mention, the film also points out that none of the main characters of the story are the 'good' guys. They're a bunch of people who managed to saw a 'highly fucked-up' banking system and ultimately decided to profit from it (which ruined the lives of millions of people in a legally way). Despite that fact, the film does show some complex emotional struggles about what's right and wrong through Steve Carell's character, Mark Baum who had a brother who committed suicide due to inability to handle the various lies and deceits of the world financial system.
The Big Short is definitely the best movie of the month. It’s incredibly difficult not to be impressed by the film. It's thought-provoking, educational, ironically amusing at the same time. Absolutely fantastic. Highly recommended.

Rating: 9/10

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