“The truth is like poetry and most people hate poetry”
How do you make a movie about the biggest financial meltdown in the history? Quite simple- you present the facts as there are and you stay as close to what happened as possible. Ah, simple, but then how do you stop your movie from turning into a documentary – because there simple have been many- Zeitgeist being one of the best that comes into mind.
The Big Short tries to keep it simple- it takes some of the best actors in the industry; it has a bunch of people who you can relate to – chefs, reality stars, music artists- explain the meaning of the terms that are used by the banks that a normal Tom, Dick, Harry won’t have any idea about; and it juxtaposes the images of what all had happened a few years back with the pace of the movie in neatly spaced timelines; and pays an impressive attention to detail. It does not match the precession of Micheal Lewis’s ‘The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine’, the book that it has been adapted from, but then Lewis’s book is not for your regular reader with the number of financial terms that are thrown in the mix- but somehow the movie manages to keep it all together and explains everything without indulging in anything too fancy.
It has Ryan Gosling being Ryan Gosling- at his charismatic best handling the narrative of the whole movie, Christian Bale taking on a challenging role as an eccentric numbers genius, Steve Carrel impressing again after his brilliant portrayal of John du Pont in Foxcatcher with another serious role, Brad Pitt doing what he does best- giving zero fucks in one scene and a million in the other. And the strength of The Big Short lies in not focusing on a single character but the storyline, the characters play their way out in each of the scenes.
The movie has just the right blend of comedy infused with classy subtlety, style- it wouldn’t be a wall street movie without it, elements of humanity- showcasing people losing their homes, and a comment on the system as a whole- well, money brings corruption and the lessons of the past are forgotten pretty shortly. It is not a movie that you cannot miss, but should definitely give it a watch if you have a little time to spare in your hands just because the actors in the movie are plain brilliant! Steve Carrel’s performance is probably the best of the bunch, and that is saying a lot when you look at the starcast, and Bale- true to his character- stays out of the limelight.