Let’s Talk About: The Big Short
I’m not the first person to say I don’t get economics. I’m also not the first person to say I have no clue what happened in 2008 and it’s not because I was only eight years old.
I never thought I would see this film. When it came out and was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars I was a thriving 15 year old fan of Spotlight and thought watching anything to do with economics would bore me to death.
Now, nearly 5 years later I was convinced by a close friend that it is actually a really interesting, borderline funny movie that I should see. And I’m glad I did!
In the end, this film took me by surprise. It was interesting, informative, anger-at-elites inducing, and… funny?
First of all, the casting was phenomenal. No brainer. Straight A-list Oscars shoe-in.
Second of all, it actually tried to explain economics. Economics for Dummies, like those books you can find on literally every topic. They probably have one about economics and nicknaming this movie that is probably a copyright strike.
The context of the financial crisis leading through to the aftermath was all explained at the barebones level of how the world functions economically. This doesn’t mean that I totally understood it, but they gave me all the tools that they could.
Making a film about a financial crisis that ended in millions suffering in some way. Better yet making a story like this intriguing and educational without making your audience want to cry.
The breaking of the fourth wall by several main characters and the “guest” appearances of big name stars whose only roles were to explain basic aspects of economics, sometimes from bathtubs, ended up being the main comedic highlight for myself.
These cameo’s alongside the splashy, quick, collage-like between scene cuts to popular culture references also worked great to transport the audience back to 2008 and set the scene.
Although this film deals with such a tragic crisis that from an economic outsider’s point of view seems unbelievably impossible to understand, the film overall handles both of these struggles impressively well. Not only does it give the audience a refresher of how several powerful people can rip everything away from so many other people just in the name of greed, but it does so in an entertaining fashion that continues to draw the audience in while also managing to explain the basics of economics.