The Big Short
The underlying theme to The Big Short is how knowledge, a simple kernel of truth, can transform your life into a living hell, especially when you are right. For in this movie, you'll discover that you only think you know how scary the economic crash of 2008 was. You're going to realize you are still sitting in the dark.
The Big Short stars Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carrell, and Ryan Gosling. The movie is based on the book, written by Michael Lewis, the guy who gave us Moneyball. Lewis writes true financial stories, and I know he is good at the craft even though I've never read one of his books. I know this because they always make a fantastic movie out of his books before I can get to them. This is no exception.
To short something in Wall Street terms means to bet against it. This is the true story of a handful of people - many who did not know each other - who around 2004 realized how fraudulent and precarious the housing market was. They bet everything - and I mean everything - against it. In the process they almost lost everything but in the end, cleaned Wall Street out for billions.
For this group of people, it was no picnic. They sat on the brink for long periods, risking their money, their security, their reputations, because they were convinced they had stumbled upon a terrible secret: The housing market was in fact built like a stack of cards.
If you are economically ignorant, like most of the world, don't worry. One funny and pleasant feature in this film is that they stop the action long enough to have a celebrity step into frame and explain - using an everyday example - what the hell the Wall Street guys are talking about. It was a creative stroke to insert these spots into the movie.
For the real-life characters in this movie, their foresight was bittersweet. 'No dancing!' as the Brad Pitt character told his partners. As he pointed out, for every uptick point in unemployment, 41,000 people die.
This is simply a great script. The characters are all quirky in their own respects. Maybe that is what it took to see what no one else did. The cast was spot on and it is easy to see why this movie was nominated for a Best Picture Of The Year Oscar.
You're going to learn something in this movie. It probably is going to disturb you. Having said that, you'll also be entertained. This movie is available for rental so definitely set aside time to watch it. On the rating scale 5/5.