'The Big Short' review: Funny business

Elsewhere, two upstarts (John Magaro and Finn Wittrock) recruit Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt), a Wall Street trader who quit his job out of disgust, to fulfil their dreams of becoming wealthy.

Photo courtesy of United International Pictures

Scamming lessons

The Big Short does not relish in the dilemmas of its characters. McKay only uses them to navigate his way around the meeting rooms and conversation spaces, where ruthless negotiations and explanations ensue. The film is wholly interested in the screwball world that is governed by a reprehensible ideology that birthed complex and dangerous schemes and instruments that are sold as golden but are utterly worthless.

McKay explains the complications of Wall Street by the two things Hollywood is brimming with – celebrities and sarcasm. When the film requires a quick lesson on all the things that caused the crash, McKay recruits familiar faces, from renowned chef Anthony Bourdain to teenage sensation Selena Gomez, to do the explaining. He does so with fuming cynicism that only adds fuel to the absurdity of the large scale scamming that has happened. It just feels like everyone is involved.

BRAD PITT. Brad plays Ben Rickert, a Wall Street trader who quits his job, in 'The Big Short.' Photo courtesy of United International Pictures

BRAD PITT. Brad plays Ben Rickert, a Wall Street trader who quits his job, in 'The Big Short.

' Photo courtesy of United International Pictures

This is the reason why the film succeeds. It functions not with an air of superiority that most holier-than-thou cinema is grounded on but with a fervent admission that everyone is in it, that we are all aware and complicit to the crime of omission. We are all afflicted with greed, or at the very least, the ability to exploit others for our personal benefit.

It shouldn’t be funny, but it is. That is the grand tragedy of McKay’s The Big Short. – Rappler.com