Dumb Money

Dumb Money
Dumb Money
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Dumb Money is the shocking truth of a pandemic that changed Wall Street and caused worldwide media frenzy in a “David vs. Goliath” financial revolution. Basically, Keith Gill played incredibly by Paul Dano was a Mass Mutual home-based financial analyst stationed around Boston. Roaring Kitty was his name on a series of YouTube videos that made him become a hero from the working class. He believed GameStop, a brick-and-mortar video game store was being undervalued intentionally by hedge funds with billions of dollars. This stock had been “shorted” meaning hedge funds were betting it would crash in value thus leaving it open to be gobbled up by or sold off through hostile corporate raids.

In order to increase its market share and value, Gill urged his followers to buy up GameStop stock. The resulting short squeeze which saw the stock’s price rise 1,500% to several hundred dollars per share became an anthem against billionaires whose values dropped to nothing causing some bankruptcies as well. Congressmen involved themselves after Melvin Capital and Robinhood supporters tried suppressing GameStop’s trading.

Dumb Money is an outrageous, funny and surprisingly touching rollercoaster ride of revenge adapted from The Antisocial Network by Ben Mezrich. This film mightily contrasts how the top 1% live as opposed to those struggling during this life-threatening crisis. College students can stand together with essential workers like nurses or store attendants on social media platforms such as Facebook because they are now taking down untouchable financial behemoths who kept their fate sealed despite all odds against them while the value of Gamestop stocks kept rising without overly getting greedy. There arose one popularized meme called HODL acronym for hold on for dear life that came out as the rallying cry for not disposing off at high profit margins.

This is done by Craig Gillespie (director Lars and the Real Girl, Cruella) in segments which dissect the “GameStop short squeeze.” The main characters never meet in real life. Gill’s first rendezvous is with a buddy at a bar. All his savings are in gamestop, he tells him and everybody else is astonished by that. He can hardly afford to pay rent for his apartment. However, his wife Caroline (Shailene Woodley) does have faith in her husband’s financial sense but his younger pot smoking brother who also happens to be a slacker as well as their anxious parents do not.

Keith Gill descends into his basement, dons a red headband, an explosively loud kitten t-shirt and opens up YouTube live stream explaining why GameStop should be bought. And then this message resounds across the country reaching Jennifer (America Ferrera), single mother recently divorced who doubles her shifts at hospital, girlfriends Harmony (Talia Ryder) and Riri (Myha’la Herrold) who are students at college, as well as Marcus (Anthony Ramos), the GameStop store clerk whose manager always reminds him about wearing masks while COVID-19 is around there who cannot stand being around the manœuvre Dane DeHaan all day long.

While in Florida, where affluent and billionaire tycoons have relocated to circumvent COVID restrictions, Gabe Plotkin (played by Seth Rogen), CEO of Melvin Capital, is involved in an argument with a contractor out of frustration. Next to his sprawling Palm Beach mansion, he has bought the mansion next door so that he can put up another pool and tennis court for his family. Cohen tells Plotkin that there is an urgent meeting they need to attend immediately, with Citadel founder Kenneth C. Griffin (Nick Offerman) as well as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

GameStop stock is on fire and they don’t understand what’s propelling the buying frenzy. The two richest men on earth, Cohen and Griffin together worth close to $60 billion dollars. They can move markets through their sheer purchasing power and are shocked at seeing Melvin Capital in danger due to its short bet on GameStop.

Gillespie delights in juxtaposing billionaires against those hardest hit by COVID. Gill became a father when his beloved sister died of it. Jennifer is burdened with debt from saving lives while Marcus, Harmony, and Riri were also affected financially by her situation. They cannot even afford basics yet Plotkin et al have legions of servants ready to do anything for them at any time.Cohen feeds his pet pig human food.Jennifer can barely afford gas.It is a funny but disgustingly classist part that points straight at economic disparity.

Throughout the film Dumb Money keeps tabs on character net worths. Scenes are accompanied by Cardi B’s annoying “WAP” song as a way of referring Roaring Kitty’s sudden popularity surge.Gillespie spares no subtlety even if it means having to paint a murkier picture of disorderly events culminating in February 2021 when federal government intervention was finally sought after.The House Financial Services Committee subpoenaed Gill, Robinhood co-owner played by Sebastian Stan, and Melvin Capital’s backers to testify whether they manipulated the GameStop stock price and had acted in violation of any laws.

Dumb Money made me laugh uncontrollably just like a hyena as it hits its target with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Wall Street manipulates the market in favor of wealthy investors, leaving the rest behind. The term “dumb money” is an insult to average traders who lose everything. They took revenge on hedge funds, but it is hard to tell if anything has really changed or not.

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