The Big Short is a banking drama which follows the true story of multiple businessmen as they predict and pursue the inevitable housing market crash in 2007.
When I write my reviews, I tend to compare my expectations from the trailer to what I saw in cinema and it’s usually just to give a sense of what to expect. But with The Big Short I emphasis what not to expect. The trailer for The Big Short looks like a heist film directed by a comedy director with Steve Carell playing a funny part. The Big Short is not a comedy and it certainly isn’t a heist in the Ocean’s Eleven sense.
The filmmaking quality of The Big Short is great. The directing as well as the fast pacing and sound quality is great. The all-star cast consisting of Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt are all brilliant in the roles they play. Steve Carell’s performance in this paired with his previous in Foxcatcher prove that he’s no longer just Brick Tamland. Christian Bale aces his character (as he always does) although the character himself isn’t shown as much as he should be. Brad Pitt is marketed and billed as one of the main cast however I can list 7 other characters with more importance and screen time than that of Brad’s. He is good in his role, however his role is miniscule.
As I said before, The Big Short is far from the comedy heist the trailer made it out to be. It’s based on the true story of multiple men who realised the American housing market was going to collapse and that they could profit from it. No heists, no jokes and no appeal to people who don’t already know the story (A.K.A. Myself).
The Big Short‘s dialogue is 90% spoken in technical banking terms that I (and most people of my generation) will find hard to understand. The story that The Big Short is based on was explained at length and with ease in the 2007 documentary Inside Job which I shall be watching soon in hopes to maybe understand even half of what the characters were saying.
Also one thing that felt quite annoying was that there are a couple of points in The Big Short where a character turns to the camera and presents a celebrity (Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez, etc.) that will speak to the audience in “simple terms” in an effort to help the audience understand what the characters are saying. Unfortunately (and quite annoyingly), these segues don’t help and just end up coming across as condescending.
The Big Short is a well made and well directed banking drama (not a comedy) with a great cast and some good performances. The story however is only interesting if you have at least a moderately advanced knowledge of banking or banking terminology. If you do… GREAT! You’ll enjoy The Big Short! If you don’t… don’t watch The Big Short.
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