December 18, 2015

The Big Short (2015)

The Big Short (2015) - Movie Review
Directed by Adam McKay
Country: USA

Movie Review: The name Adam McKay is immediately associated to Will Ferrell and the comedy genre, fruit of their previous collaborations in “Anchorman”, “Step Brothers”, and “The Other Guys”, which also adds a fair amount of action and stunts. With “The Big Short”, a terrific adaptation of Michael Lewis’ bestselling novel of the same name, there’s a big turn in the approach and genre. There’s no more Will Ferrell, but there are Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt – how about that? And more! Even based on true events, Mr. McKay doesn’t dispense some utterly laughable scenes and a punchy dialogue that immerses us into the Wall Street schemes related to the housing and credit bubble during the 2000’s, which culminated in the 2008 financial crisis, regarded as the worst since the Great Depression. The plot is focused on four clever investors who anticipated the burst of this dangerous bubble that left millions financially ruined, homeless, and unemployed. Two of them, Dr. Michael Burry (Bale) and Mark Baum (Carell), revealed to be remarkably interesting as film characters since their posture and behavior are extremely entertaining and funny. The other two, Jared Vennett (Gosling) and Ben Rickert (Pitt), adopt a more restrained attitude and less confrontational – I would say they like to work in the shadow, not assuming an elevated prominence, but an eagerness to benefit from the complicated situation or help others benefiting too. Christian Bale is incredible as Blurry, a one-eyed, former neurologist who created the Scion Capital and is capable of reading numbers like no one else. To keep the stress away, he listens to hard rock and always takes his drumsticks with him to the office where he remains comfortably in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops. Mr. Carell’s Mark Baum is a respected hedge-fund manager who’s not afraid to say what he thinks, often showing indignity about how the market works; he’s a man of principles and keeps struggling hard with the suicide of his brother. Jared Vennet, an elegant trader for Deutsche Bank, was the one who informed Baum and his team about what was coming, urging them to investigate and take their own conclusions. Pitt’s Ben Rickert, wearing a beard and eyeglasses, is considerably more discreet than the rest of the bright visionaries. Less exuberant than “The Wolf of Wall Street”, funnier than “Margin Call”, and equally striking as “99 Homes”, the intrepid and almost impolite “The Big Short”, flowing at a commendable pace, is only short in its title since both message and presentation are big and explanatory enough to elucidate and engross.

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