Tuesday, 5 January 2016

REVIEW - THE BIG SHORT (ADAM MCKAY)


We're being mocked. It's easy to miss, what with all these boorish white heterosexual men collectively showing their pasty asses, that it's these same people who are mocking us. The Big Short is set up like a mirror, reflecting the truth of the events leading up to the financial crash in 2008, but it's a cannily-constructed mirror: as unflattering as that truth may be, see for yourself the spin that these people put on themselves in the process of that reflection. After all, you caught bits and pieces, little nuggets here and there, but just how much of what was reflected back onto you did you actually understand? Face it, we're all being mocked. It's the easy, uncomfortable, thematically-appropriate course for Adam McKay to take - after all, he's another of those white heterosexual men, regardless of his sympathies - and it makes The Big Short as fantastic as it is inherently flawed. So this is boorish cinema, but it has brains, if not much heart, and it has a pleasing sense of rhythm - thank editor Hank Corwin for that - and space - thank cinematographer Barry Ackroyd for that. McKay comes from directing comedies, so he knows how to construct a punchline, but he's equally keen on the delivery of the more dramatic moments, and knows how to employ sound and silence (both sonically and visually) in service of this. The nuts and bolts of The Big Short are sound, the conceit upon which it stands clear, cruel and completely unyielding. So what's the problem? You remember, don't you? We're being mocked, that's the problem. Well, suck it up. This film will open your eyes, so just lie back and take it.