“The Big Short” is a docudrama about the 2008 housing market crash and how the investors got extremely rich by betting against the big banks. It stars actors Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt and others.
The movie is without a main protagonist and is edited together in a way that follows the story from three to four different perspectives.
Banker Jared Vennet (Ryan Gosling) is the main narrator. He breaks the fourth wall from time to time to help the audience keep up when big financial terms like collateralized debt obligation (CDO) and subprime mortgage are mentioned. He cuts to short segments with famous people like Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie as they explain these lofty terms.
Michael Burry (Christian Bale) is the first to see the crash coming. He invests over a billion dollars in insurance against the housing loans. Everybody thinks he was insane and his social awkwardness did not do him many favors in terms of people taking him seriously. Bale shined in this role. He showed his great range as an actor and is absolutely enthralling to watch.
Mark Baum (Steve Carell) is another story in the movie. He was always very wary of Wall Street practices and when he discovers the impending crash in an unlikely way, he goes all in. Carell in this role shows us again that he is not simply just a comedic actor. He has the chops for drama and has proven it.
There are many things this movie does well. It is lofty, but it does its best keeping the audience invested in a financial story and proves a point.
The 2008 crash was caused by greed and stupidity. When the taxpayers bailed the banks out and were not forced to reform, there is nothing stopping them now from doing exactly what led to the meltdown seven and a half years ago. This movie while captivating in its own right, is worth seeing simply by the poignant political message it gives us.