The Reddit-fueled short squeeze of GameStop in early 2021 has once again captured the public’s imagination, this time on the silver screen. “Dumb Money,” a cinematic retelling of the January 2021 saga, is gaining attention as it portrays the ultimate David vs. Goliath battle. Directed by Craig Gillespie, the film has already begun limited screenings in mid-September and is set for a wide release on September 29. Rotten Tomatoes is giving it a solid critics’ score of 87%.
A Plot Inspired by “The Antisocial Network”
“Dumb Money” draws its inspiration from author Ben Mezrich’s book, “The Antisocial Network.” Mezrich, who is also an executive producer of the movie, recalled witnessing GameStop shares skyrocketing in January 2021. He recognized that this was more than a fleeting event; it was a moment with the potential to reshape the financial landscape.
Mezrich explained, “In all of my books and my movies, I try and find the origin story of something that’s going to be culturally significant years later, something that I think is going to change everything afterwards. And I saw that in this GameStop story.”
The Anger That Fueled a Movement
The film captures the essence of the GameStop phenomenon – a revolt against a perceived rigged system. Mezrich noted, “Of all the people I talked to, almost all of them shared this kind of feeling that the system is rigged, that something very unfair has been going on for a long time, and that the little person just can’t win.”
People held onto GameStop stock not just for profit but to be part of a movement, a rebellion against what they saw as a corrupt system. Mezrich believes the movie effectively portrays this sentiment, showcasing the revolutionary spirit of those involved.
A Great Adaptation
Mezrich praised “Dumb Money” as a faithful adaptation of his book, noting that it closely followed “The Antisocial Network” in many places. The storyline involving Keith Gill, portrayed by Paul Dano, showcases Gill’s social media presence on platforms like Reddit, where he shared his bullish views on GameStop.
The movie doesn’t hold back when taking aim at Wall Street giants. Mezrich commented, “it hit really hard at the Wall Street titans who are in the story in ways that maybe the book couldn’t go.”
A Star-Studded Cast Takes on Wall Street
In “Dumb Money,” a talented ensemble cast tackles the roles of Wall Street figures. Nick Offerman embodies Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, while Vincent D’Onofrio and Seth Rogen take on Steven Cohen and Gabe Plotkin, respectively. Sebastian Stan portrays Vlad Tenev of Robinhood.
The GameStop short squeeze didn’t just make waves in the stock market; it attracted the attention of federal lawmakers who held hearings to investigate the circumstances surrounding it.
GameStop’s Financial Rollercoaster
As of Thursday’s trading, GameStop’s stock value sat at an impressive figure, marking a significant movement from the beginning of the year and an even more remarkable increase over a 12-month period.
A Memorable Year for “Meme Stocks”
GameStop was not alone in its meteoric rise. Retail traders also pumped up other so-called “meme stocks” early in 2021, including AMC Entertainment and Bed Bath & Beyond.
“Dumb Money” promises to bring this unforgettable chapter in financial history to life on the big screen, reminding us all of the power of collective action in the face of entrenched financial interests.
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