HOLLYWOOD—Hmm, have you ever wondered precisely what happened in 2008 when the housing market crashed in the United States? Still trying to pinpoint precisely what the banks were secretly doing where they were able to give out those massive loans to people who didn’t qualify for them. Well, just like Hollywood, we now have a movie that attempts to explain things, to give us a better understanding.
“The Big Short” is a movie based on the 2010 novel by Michael Lewis and is directed by Adam McKay. The movie works at a high-pace if you ask me. It’s one of those dramas where the eyes need to be closely fixated on the screen and the ears tightly glued to the dialogue to make sense of all the chaos that is taking place.
The dramedy stars a bevy of talent including Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Melissa Leo and Marisa Tomei to name a few. The acting is stellar on multiple fronts, so much to the point where you ask yourself if one actor is out-acting their counterpart. Many of the players in the movie were vital in the creation of the credit default swap market that aimed to bet against the collateralized debt obligation (CDO).
Yes, the terminology is not easy to understand for most Americans, but be patient because “The Big Short’ might be one of the most important movies you see all year. It’s hard to fathom that McKay, the guy behind such comedies like “Anchorman,” “The Other Guys” and “Step Brothers” could helm a drama that is beyond enthralling, informative and has an integral place in our culture.
We see the banks fall and do they ever fall, but at the same time we see a crop of characters who capitalize at the expense of the banks and the American public. I must say that was something that didn’t make me the happiest camper in the theater seat. We already were well aware the banks have been screwing the American public for years, but to see a bunch of self-absorbed idiots (quite intelligent) individuals who saw the flames long before anyone else benefit, strikes a chord.
It makes you wonder, why some of that wealth, that moolah, wasn’t shared with the public in a crisis that not only crippled Wall Street, but almost resulted in the fall of the auto industry and placed the work force in a destitute arena for nearly 5-6 years after the crash.
Has the economy bounced back? Of course, but it still is not anywhere close to where things were post 2007. You can argue with me all you want that it has, but the movie shows America was already in financial ruins years before the crash, no one was willing to see it.
Bale proves as an actor, he completely immerses himself in the role of Michael Burry, a Scion Capital executive, who doesn’t like wearing shoes. He is a quirky character that one shouldn’t take seriously, but he knows his stuff in the finance arena.
Be aware that the movie knows the everyday spectator may not fully understand what is transpiring, and when those moments become evident, the movie departs from the narrative to explain in simplistic terms precisely what is transpiring. You know how that series “Saved by the Bell” worked? That sometimes happens here in “The Big Short.”
“The Big Short” finally puts a spotlight on the housing crisis that frankly Hollywood has been avoiding for years. It’s a movie that in my honest opinion requires more than one viewing to truly grasp what took place during the financial crisis and the crash of the housing market. When you have top-notch actors in compelling roles, and a narrative that takes you on an emotionally high and emotionally low rollercoaster, you appreciate knowing that you were able to say you survived some of the most devastating times in American history, well at least some of us can say that.