Getting Reel: The Big Short Review

Claire Wilson, Sports Editor 

Over the weekend, I decided to watch The Big Short because in all honesty, I love Ryan Gosling. The movie came out in December of last year, but it was recently added to on Demand and Netflix. Initially, I was expecting the film to be like The Wolf of Wall Street, a glamorized portrayal of the filthy rich. I was expecting the protagonist to lose it all and for the audience to learn that the reality of Wall Street differs greatly from its image. Instead, I found that the film was really an honest effort to explain the events leading up to the 2008 market crash. The film is not supposed to be suspenseful (spoiler alert: the market crashes at the end); it is bittersweet and emotional.

Additionally, there was surprising comedic value to the drama. When the film presented complicated terms such as CDO and subprime, the director inserted hilarious clips of celebrities like Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie explaining the concepts as simply as possible.

Another of the film’s interesting elements was the use of the Fourth Wall, which characters broke when a certain part of the movie didn’t occur in real life or for narrative purposes. Often the Fourth Wall was broken to explain the backstory of one of the main characters. The cast was also something of note because it included all stars such as Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt and Christian Bale. Carell took on a role that is much different than his true personality as a truth obsessed jerk. His character along with Brad Pitt’s character provided somewhat of a moral backbone of the story, which acknowledged the incredible losses to most of the world.

The plot was very well researched and tracked the decisions of a few different men who saw the incoming housing crisis and decided to profit off of its gain. There is also an emotional component where the protagonists struggle to morally justify making a large profit off of an irreversible financial collapse. The real villains of the story seemed to be the bankers whose corrupt policies led to the collapse. In one of the final scenes, one of the main characters explained that there hasn’t been anything done to correct the issues that lead to the collapse and in fact, the banks created new programs that would lead to further housing bubbles. The movie juxtaposed the system and the people who made it so terrible with those who were exploiting it for personal gain. Average Americans were the only characters to come out unscathed. I would recommend everyone seeing this movie, especially if you love Ryan Gosling as much as I do.

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