Wednesday 8 November 2023

REVIEW: Dumb Money (2023) - Starring Paul Dano and Seth Rogen

Review by Jon Donnis
"Dumb Money" is a 2023 American biographical comedy-drama film that dives into the extraordinary events of the GameStop short squeeze of January 2021, based on Ben Mezrich's book, "The Antisocial Network." The film has its moments of glory and delivers a brisk, biting comic tone with a touch of anger against Wall Street. The ultimate David vs. Goliath tale is portrayed with a smart and entertaining style, making it a finance-world docudrama worth watching.

"Dumb Money is based on the insane true story of everyday people who flipped the script on Wall Street and got rich by turning GameStop (yes, the videogame store) into the world's hottest company. In the middle of everything is regular guy Keith Gill (Paul Dano), who starts it all by sinking his life savings into the stock and posting about it. When his social posts start blowing up, so does his life and the lives of everyone following him. As a stock tip becomes a movement, everyone gets rich – until the billionaires fight back, and both sides find their worlds turned upside down."

One of the film's strong points is its ability to capture the essence of the GameStop saga, where everyday people took on Wall Street and briefly tasted victory. The story is outrageous, and it is fascinating to see the underdogs flipping the script and profiting from GameStop's meteoric rise during the pandemic. The charismatic performances of the cast, including Paul Dano as Keith Gill and Seth Rogen as Gabe Plotkin, add depth to the characters.

However, "Dumb Money" does have its share of drawbacks. The film's portrayal of the gloomy and chaotic atmosphere of 2020 might not sit well with some viewers, as it serves as a stark reminder of a challenging time. Additionally, the abundance of characters in the film can be overwhelming, making it difficult for the audience to become deeply invested in any one individual.

In summary, "Dumb Money" is an entertaining dive into the GameStop saga, offering a rollercoaster ride through the highs and lows of the financial world. It's a compelling tale of David vs. Goliath, brought to life by a talented cast and a sense of righteous indignation. While it may not be a cinematic masterpiece, it's a worthwhile watch for those interested in this captivating and real-life financial drama. The film earns a solid score of 7 out of 10.

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