23 ene. 2016

The Big Short (9/10): Economics for Dummies

"Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come."

The Big Short is such a refreshing and surprising film because it manages to perfectly balance a difficult subject matter and make it entertaining. It is perhaps one of the most important films made this year reminding us of the worldwide economic breakdown that began in 2007 and left millions of people without their life savings. Many of us don't understand much about economics or how it works, and that is why we have been so eager to forget what happened and continue moving on as if nothing ever happened. This film refreshes our memory and reminds us of what a terrible crime was committed during the housing bubble collapse. The film centers on the few men who recognized the problem early on and took advantage of the situation. The Big Short is a dramatic movie, there is no doubt about it, but it also manages to include some comedic moments by breaking the fourth wall and including pop culture figures to explain some of the more complicated financial terms. It does it in a brilliant way and it's been a while since I've seen a film break the fourth wall as well as this one did. I've seen many documentaries on this subject, but this film manages to explain things better and open our eyes to the dangers we might face again in the future because we've ignored the real problem and seem to be repeating the same mistakes once again. Mckay manages to infuriate and open our eyes while entertaining us at the same time with an engaging film thanks to a witty adapted script which he helped co-write with Charles Randolph.

It's not the first time that a film based on a Micheal Lewis novel manages to draw in an audience that doesn't necessarily need to comprehend the subject matter. You could be clueless about baseball, but in Moneyball the story still managed to engage a worldwide audience. The same can be said about this film because the economic terms are explained in a simple way. That is why I believe this is one of the most important films of the year because it allows even those that never seemed interested in economics to understand how it still affects them. It is an eye opening film for those that felt uninterested in trying to understand what happened in 2007. If there is one film that audiences should see this year then this might just be the one (not for its technical or artistic value, but for the importance of its subject matter). 

The Big Short is Adam McKay's dramatic directorial debut and his background in comedy is what probably helped this film become more accesible. The man who brought us Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and The Other Guys, now brings us a thought provoking film. He's received two Oscar nominations (directing and writing) for his work here and what an impressive film he has crafted. The film is heavy on dialogue, but the script is so perfectly written that each character in this film becomes memorable. The performances are outstanding which simply proves what a key element writing is for an actor. It was refreshing to see Ryan Gosling back again after his retirement from the big screen for two years. He plays the charismatic character he could easily play in his sleep, but he is still a delight to watch. He delivers a solid role, but out of the four big names it was Steve Carell who stood out. He gets the best dramatic moments and lights up each scene he enters in. Brad Pitt has a smaller role but he makes perfect use of his screen time with an understated performance. Christian Bale is the only actor who received a nomination for his performance in this film and it is well deserved. He plays a socially awkward character and totally sells it. There are films where there are so many big names that no one really gets to shine, but this film manages to make every character memorable thanks to the wonderful script. 

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