The Big Short


(spoiler free)

Nominated for five Oscar Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, ‘The Big Short’ has certainly caught the attention of the Academy. As I like to avoid spoilers and really knowing much at all about new movies I was lacking in knowledge regarding the film and it’s plot. All I knew was that it had a brilliant cast and was associated with Wall Street and mortgages. Alarm bells should have been ringing in my ears at this stage though as I find most things financial an absolute snooze fest. However I let the Oscar buzz and great cast get the better of me which was silly as within minutes of the film starting I knew this wasn’t going to be for me.

My lack of interest in all things business related of course means that I have little understanding of markets, credit, shares, swaps and all other things under the big business umbrella. Of course ‘The Big Short’ uses terms like this as everyday language so naturally I found it a little hard to keep up. Much to the films credit, no pun intended, it makes a solid attempt to educate the viewers in these terms. Although, these self-aware efforts were still lost on me. These moments of explanation are brought to the audience through a number of cameos throughout the film. They only achieve so much and I thought actually did the film more damage than good, not necessarily in terms of their explanation but simply their presence.  They really took me out of the film and contributed to the messy feel that the film carried making it feel part documentary, part film.  Whilst I was able to get the overall gist of the film I wasn’t able to follow isolated conversations on most occasions resulting in a lot of boredom.

At least all the performances are good and thank goodness the characters featured had some interesting personality traits and quirks otherwise little else would have kept me in my seat. Things weren’t so bad when I was watching Steve Carell’s character hijack a group therapy session. However one thing I couldn’t stand was the constant breaking of the fourth wall. This is hard enough to get right with one character let alone when a whole host of characters are doing it. The inconsistency of this throughout the whole cast became irritating and like the cameos took me out of the film and further contributed to the messy feel of the film.

I imagine that if you have an interest in banking or finance that this film is an entertaining look at the collapse of the economy with a specific focus on the housing market. However it does little to offer those without that interest anything entertaining.  Maybe I just shouldn’t be watching the film then if the subject matter doesn’t interest me? Well I don’t like to rule anything out solely based on it’s content and I’m right to do so. Two films last year took two areas which I wouldn’t have had the slightest interest in before and made highly entertaining films from them. The first was ‘Whiplash’ which made drumming so intense and the second was ‘A Most Violent Year’ which somehow made the oiling industry interesting. It’s a shame that during and after watching ‘The Big Short’ I didn’t have a single iota of interest in it’s content.

Don’t get me wrong ‘The Big Short’ isn’t a terrible film and it certainly has its audience but I’d say the majority of the cinema going public isn’t it. Even with that set aside though I can’t rate the film highly due to it boring and irritating me. It failed to ever draw me into this mad world of banking and business due to it’s cameos and constant breaking of the fourth wall. ‘The Big Short’ is my least favourite film of the year so far and I imagine it will be a while longer before I’m as bored as I was whilst watching this movie.

Rating – 5/10

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