One of the kings of comedy has decided to change lanes and tell the story of one of the biggest financial crises in recent memory. With his previous work consisting mainly of Will Ferrell comedies, is this one to watch or a promising product put in the wrong hands? The results may indeed surprise you!
Before 2008, no one saw the housing crisis on the horizon. The Big Short tells the story of the few people that managed to both predict and profit from the world shaking financial crisis while reflecting on the severity of what a market crash means.
Managing to step away from his comfortable veil of slapstick comedy, Adam McKay delivers the surprise hit of the Oscar season with one of the most eye opening cinema experiences in the last few years. Telling multiple stories is difficult to do but somehow Mckay keeps it impressively well balanced. Each branch of the story is given equal screen time, creating a unique opportunity to give multiple perspectives on the events leading up to 2008. This unique brand of storytelling is mesmerizing, giving the audience something immensely entertaining as well eye-opening.
During the Winter season the screenplay is easily one of the most important things that define a good movie. Adaptations of real life events are often bloated with facts and figures that tend to overcomplicate the message they try to get across. The Big Short is probably one of the most intelligent screenplays in the last few years – simplifying complicated financial jargon with interesting transitions, pigeon English narration and every so often, Margot Robbie in a bath tub.
Brilliantly though, what The Big Short manages to do better than anything else is build in a layer of comedy that helps the narrative rather than make a mockery of it. The humour helps to differentiate the bad guys from the good guys but more importantly gives a boost to the dramatic moments when they hit. This situation creates a dichotomy that will leave the audience debating what happened for days after viewing.
Supporting such an interesting story is the impressive talent. Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling give incredibly strong performances throughout, providing the pillars for each individual story to build on. Equally impressive however are all the smaller fish in the pond. John Magaro and Finn Wittrock drive their part perfectly and even Rafe Spall manages to pull out the big guns when needed.
Overall The Big Short not only managed to make me laugh, but it also taught me something i didn’t know about one of the most monumental moments in financial history. With some strong performances and a sharp story, this is definitely one of the welcome surprises in recent months. 4.5 out of 5.