The Big Short takes place during 2005 when the housing market caused the Stock Market to crash. It is directed by Adam McKay and is packed with a star studded cast starting with Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. Three separate but intertwined stories come together to try and make a profit off this twisted idea that the housing market will fail. It begins with a one eyed, laid back Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale) who is a hedge fund manager that comes to the conclusion that the housing market system is flawed, and it will collapse causing thousands of people to lose their money. When Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) gets wind of this idea, he decides to take it on the road and contact several different investment firms to help himself and them get money. When almost all of them laugh in his face, Mark Baum (Steve Carell) takes a chance on this young diligent salesman. He joins the lunacy by betting against the banks and agreeing that the housing market will plummet. The third and final group of people that join the craze are two minor players in a $30 million dollar start up company, that unfortunately don’t have the money to invest so they call up their old friend Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) to put up the cash.
The Big Short was extremely hard to follow, especially for someone that isn’t too familiar with the stock market or housing market. The film tries desperately to make it interesting by having famous people play themselves and try to explain what is actually occurring in the film, but even that doesn’t help. Gosling narrates throughout the entire film and attempts to also explain the complicated plot, but that also doesn’t work.
For the average moviegoer The Big Short is not very appealing. The acting is great, Christian Bale portrays a deranged somewhat hippie doctor that is almost reminiscent of a mad scientist, creating ideas into his head but having the potential of possibly being right. Steve Carell is great as the constantly agitated Mark Baum, who is always on the phone and trying to make the right decision. Gosling is funny and charming as both narrator and Vennett, but with the writing and complex storyline, their performances don’t make the film worthy of excellence. The heart of the film is missing. That may be the point, since these bankers are corrupt and don’t feel for their clients, but there was no emotion or feeling felt watching this film. The actors are the only reason this film is noteworthy and why it is getting the praise and recognition it is receiving. People that work in that industry or enjoy learning about that industry would probably enjoy this film, but as stated above the average film goer probably will be lost and bored.
In conclusion The Big Short is recommended to anyone that enjoys films that discuss situations involving banks, the stock market, and decent acting. Also, to anyone that needs a refresher of how corrupt and deceitful bankers can be, and how sad the future looks for the up and coming Americans.