Dumb Money is a crowd-pleasing and frustrating look at the world of stocks and how Wall Street execs try to control the markets to keep the little guys out. Following in the footsteps of The Big Short (though not nearly as detailed and informative) this film smartly pits the 99% against the 1% who seem to have little regard for the rest of the people in this country trying to make an honest living. With seemingly endless bailouts and companies purposefully shorting companies to run them out of business, it feels as if the odds are stacked against anyone trying to find a foothold in the market to accumulate wealth. So, what happens when the 99% decide to stick it to the hedge funds and billionaires and go all in on shorted stock?
In 2020, the world was shut down and most people found themselves spending an excessive amount of time at home trying to adjust to our new realities. Amid all the changes the world experiences, a lot of people found themselves taking up new hobbies to pass the time and one such hobby that blew up was people buying and selling stocks on the app Robinhood. The stock that sent the world into a frenzy was Gamestop, after Keith Gill (Paul Dano) a.k.a Roaring Kitty put out videos explaining why he loved the stock. Once more people bought in, hedge funds started losing billions as the common folk continued to hold their shares as Gamestop valuation skyrocketed. It wouldn’t last forever, but this stock saga consumed global news and exposed dozens of issues with trading and the companies that control most of the country’s wealth!
Director Craig Gillespie has created an all-out assault on Wall Street with the marketing of Dumb Money and it’s not hard to understand why after you watch the film. The unfortunate reality we’re all aware of is that enough money does help people bend the rules and keep the rich wealthy. Pairing this shared knowledge with the exposure of seedy business practices is more than enough to rile up audiences, as it did with my screening. This whole Gamestop debacle was emblematic of everyday people finding something to put their hope into as they listened to the guidance of an average man who didn’t ever talk to you like some big money manager. Roaring Kitty was just a guy looking to share his knowledge with people and trying to keep his mind off everything else bad that was happening in the world at the time.
It’s no secret why people gravitated towards his humble and silly personality, finding aspects of themselves within his character and trusting his humble approach to talking about money and investing. When it started paying off and they found themselves making more money than they’d ever seen before, people decided to keep growing the stock in a show of solidarity to help bankrupt the hedge funds. It was an online movement that united people of all kinds against the system that’s been rigged in the wealthy’s favor and it’s incredibly enjoyable to watch how it played out in the film having watched from the sidelines when it all went down in real time!
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