The Little Short (Equity Review)

A senior investment banker named Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn) tries to prove her worth to her firm by bringing in a tech company that’s on the verge of going public. However, the IPO causes her to get tangled up in an investigation into securities fraud.

Happy Labor Day! Or at least it was when I saw this. In case you didn’t know, women work hard too. They wrote, produced, directed, and starred in this one. They also worked hard in this one as the film was centered around several women including an investment banker named Naomi Bishop (Gunn). Coming off a recent failure, she has to prove herself as she attempts to bring in a tech company on the verge of becoming public. She had always had to prove herself as she works in a male-dominated industry. The film missed a big opportunity here as it downplayed the woman angle but not every film with a woman as a main character has to defend herself.

The film mostly followed Naomi along with her VP Erin Manning (Sarah Megan Thomas) as they went about starting their IPO. This meant managing all of the people involved. Along the way, it deals with a series of financial terms that may not be the easiest to understand. Unlike The Big Short which handle these in more of a silly way, this film takes things a lot more seriously. Throughout her journey, Naomi had to deal with the cloud of her previous failure looming over her. She already was a pretty confident person but this caused her to start doubting and second-guessing herself but she wasn’t the only one doing that.

Meanwhile all of that was happening, Naomi’s old friend Samantha (Alysia Reiner) took the chance to reconnect with her while she investigated someone close to Naomi. This was the weakest part of the film. These scenes were a little hard to follow as her role in the film was not clear until much later. They felt a little too disconnected from the rest of the plot so it was hard to care about them. Of course everything eventually came together but it was too little too late as it did not have as big of an impact as it should have.

The story was told in a very slow way with a lot of moving parts so it wasn’t always evident where it was going. Other than Naomi, none of the characters were very interesting as they did not get any development whatsoever. She wasn’t that much better, however, as the film seemed like it wasn’t sure how to balance all the characters and subplots. The story felt underdeveloped as a result of this as things, came off as rushed which sounds like a contradiction.

Naomi was still kind of fun to watch because she was a likable character even though she still had her down moments. The film was full of ambitious characters but since they were underwritten, it was not always straightforward following how they went about with it. Due to the film’s incompleteness, all the various characters’ decisions lacked any emotional impact. Despite all of that, the film was elevated by Gunn’s performance. She was good here as she was marginally more likable than the other characters. It was easy to emphasize with her situation even though it was cliche.

Overall, this film was full of potential by telling a story from a seldom used perspective but failing in its execution and is slightly elevated by Gunn’s performance.

Score: 6/10

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