Entertainment and Arts

Youtuber vs Wall Street, the David and Goliath Battle – in ‘Dumb Money’

By: Russ Matthews

A working knowledge of the stock market would be worthwhile for anyone to fully appreciate this story.

Yet, like many investors who helped make this story a reality who had little awareness of what they were part of, viewers can still enjoy Craig Gillespie’s (Cruella) interpretation of Ben Mezrich’s book, The Antisocial Network.

During the COVID pandemic, the world went online and underground in many ways. This included financial advisor Keith Gill (Paul Dano), aka Roaring Kitty, an amateur Youtuber on the channel wallstreetbets. He had extensively studied the brick-and-mortar store Gamestop and orchestrated an internet community to buy up the company’s stock. Without boring our readers, Gill initiated and successfully ran a short squeeze on the stock, which led to Wall Street hedge funds and a day-trading company called RobinHood to collude to stop this from happening. This led to frenzied stock market activity, the failure of some investment companies, and an eventual Congressional investigation. Despite being labelled as ‘dumb money’ by the industry, this one man brought about a revolution that changed how the stock market operates.

* Trailer Contains Mature Content *

Realistically, most audience members will not understand most of the investing dialogue exchanged in this trailer or the film. Still, Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo’s script makes this story accessible for the novice investor and discovers the intrigue of Gill’s story. One layered with the average citizen who hopes to topple the institutions that desire to keep them down. This means that most of the language and lifestyles of the day traders are raw and embody the viscous nature of the online anonymity of this community. Yet, suppose you can get past the sophomoric and foul nature of the dialogue. In that case, the comedic and dramatic elements add a spice to this screenplay that makes for a modern-day David and Goliath tale. He even manages to show how the pandemic affected the world and how the isolated nature proved to be a catalyst for this event.

The cast makes Keith Gill’s story come alive and will lead to the viewer’s investment. Paul Dano continues to prove that he can carry a film with his unassuming and winsome nature. Vincent D’Onofrio, Seth Rogan, Sebastian Stan, and Nick Offerman are perfect as the smarmy and arrogant hedge fund managers who typify the villainous nature of this business. Then America Ferrera and Anthony Ramos lead a cast of characters representing the ordinary investors who followed the Roaring Kitty through this unlikely excursion into varied levels of financial success.

Dumb Money is likely overly dramatic and may have taken artistic license with certain aspects of this historical event. Yet, once you get past the foul nature of language and hubris of this industry, audiences will get an entertaining return on their investment of time.

REEL DIALOGUE: Money, money, money

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” Matthew 6:24

Most people do not know that Jesus had much to say about money and not just how they should give to the church. His words dealt more with mankind’s priorities and that money cannot be the primary focus of our lives.

Not to be misunderstood, Jesus did not state that money is evil or that he was not anti-money. His teachings went to how it ranked in our lives over other things, specifically to God. The words in the above passage could be asked a question: Who is your God? No one may say it is money, but if it takes precedence over all other things in your life, it has become your god.

Dumb Money shows how quickly the love of money can lead to extreme highs and lows. The film depicts how our reliance on money can lead to painful lessons that prove that you are not the master of your domain, money is the master. The only absolute freedom and satisfaction can be found in God. Money is a vicious master, while the God of the Bible is a gracious and loving one.

If you would like to discuss the issues associated with money and the Bible. Reach out to us at Third Space. We would love to chat about this and more.


Article supplied with thanks to City Bible Forum.

All images: Movie stills

About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.

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