When four outsiders Michael Burry, Mark Baum, Jared Vennett, and Ben Rickert (Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt) saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything.
With those four involved in a big film, it could only be good and for the most part it was. I will say, in a film about the financial crisis of 2008, this film has a lot of big financial words that I (and maybe others) did not all quite understand so that may influence your enjoyment of the film but did not overly impact mine. The film did try to explain certain things in clever ways (that I will not spoil) but it still didn’t completely get me. I will admit to having googled certain things afterwards. All in all I definitely learned some things I didn’t know. Like I said, this film revolves around the financial crisis of 2008 and the events leading to and after. It is also based on the book, also called “The Big Short”, by Micheal Lewis. It would also be a little difficult for me to explain the film’s story so I would just differ to the book for that. The film does feature several interwoven stories involving these characters. It was easy to follow, going back and forth until some of these characters’ stories converged later on. Throughout this, Gosling’s Vennett was featured as the narrator who handled some of the explanation of terms and appeared on screen talking straight at the camera providing inner monologues for his character. I thought the film did a good job at capturing the effect which the crisis had on the people and the country showing how they dealt with it. It also did a good job exploring the behind the scenes activities of big banks and financial firms. It exposed them for what they are and what they did. I also learned some things I didn’t know. Whether or not they really are/were that way remains to be seen. What was fun to see was in order to emphasize some of the film’s points as it would often cut to b-roll video and other content. The film definitely has a style of its own with its flashy editing, going from shot to shot rather quickly. The performances from the main four actors in this film were great all around. Bale’s Burry was an eccentric character who was smart enough to figure out what was going to happen. Bale was great at this but I didn’t quite understand his character and he wasn’t really connected with anyone. Carell’s Baum was my favorite as his performance showed a lot of range. Gosling’s Vennett was slick and had some funny lines which kept things interesting. Pitt’s Rickert did not get very much screen time compared to the others. Pitt, in more of a supporting role here, is the voice of reason and does this admirably. In order to catch certain things, I may have to watch this again. Overall, this is a great film featuring complicated subject matter which is shot in a different way and is thankfully lifted by the script and the lead performances.