A couple of years ago, there was a film called The Big Short. It is basically about the 2008 Banking Crisis. Instead of being an intimate look at those on the ground who lost all of their money due to some terrible decisions by people who would probably sneer at “common folk,” the film focused on the men who saw an opportunity to earn some cash, playing a twisted game to profit off the financial issues.
I legitimately hated this film. Though conceptually brilliant, there was a lack of soul and focused on the wrong people. It’s hard to feel any sympathy for those who try to accumulate wealth in deceitful manners. And whilst shitty things can happen to the rich, when presenting their problems to a broader audience, it’s difficult to gain sympathy from anyone on the big screen.
That’s the main problem I’ve have with The Outsider. Because, as quirky as subject Nobu Su is, it’s hard to feel anything for him or care with what is going on in the film. Directed Tom Meadmore, the movie revolves around Su who is a massive shipping magnate. When the whole fiasco happened with the Crisis,
Here’s the frustrating thing about The Outsider. Su is great. He has come from humble backgrounds, he earned a lot of cash, and is now wondering why he is struggle business-wise. See? That’s a pretty savvy focus to have – Su is weirdly humorous despite his circumstances and his oddity adds a great character into the mix of a film that is pretty gosh-darn dull.
But the film doesn’t focus on him as a deep character study, instead jolts across the screen with graphics. It gets bogged down with banking jargon that, you know, also plagued The Big Short. It is really hard to care about the banking crisis and you lose all will to invest time in The Outsider because it harps too much on explaining what went wrong in jittery cartoons than digger deeper into Nobu.
Because the film also holds back on darker elememts of Su’s world. There is a better story here with his marriage and his ex-wife isn’t even interviewed. They broke up because of the whole affair and it never is explored into greater detail. It’s like this whole missing part looming over the film, making it less complex and pretty bog-standard.
The documentary relies on the exuberance of Su alone and stays splashing around in the paddling pool, afraid to find much more depth. It makes for a floating and tedious piece of film.