Wednesday, 30 March 2016

26/03/16 The Big Short (2015)

Strange film, 2hrs and 10mins long and it's about the 2008 financial crash, yet it still manages to be entertaining and swift moving.

Aside from Brad Pitt's vanity role, there's very few likable characters. The main players are a bunch of people who saw the crash coming, claim it's the work of criminal financial institutions who use the taxpayer's (especially those on a lower income) money as the bricks to build their castles of fiscal immorality.

All very true and fair enough.

However, those same people all then take rich people's money to invest in the probability of a global economic fuck-up, and make gargantuan profits when it happens, making themselves, and the wealthy, a lot of money from everyone else losing all of theirs. These people are framed within the plot as the rogueish, plucky underdogs of the financial world, when all they're doing is playing the same game as those they claim to despise, but a little more astutely.

So the conscience the film tries to project feels false as it still comes across as a prayer in the temple of money.

That said, the final five minutes are quietly powerful. Steve Carrell's character reflects on the banking world crashing and says along the lines of "It'll be the same as it's always been in times of economic hardship, immigrants and the poor will take all the blame", and there follows a voiceover describing how rather than the crash tethering the excesses of the financial world, it has in fact given them more freedom than ever.

Yeah, pretty much nailed it there.


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