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Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

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Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

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Reddit takes on Wall Street in “Dumb Money”

Graphic made by Lucy Severson.
“Dumb Money” was released in theaters on September 15th and covers the true story of Keith Gill, Wall Street and Reddit.

Typically movies about real events are hard to get just right, especially when they are in such recent memory. People remember the time when these films took place well and are quick to criticize any inaccuracies when there is no nostalgia attached to it to hide any flaws. Craig Gillespie (”I, Tonya,” “Cruella”) has created a film that somehow is incredibly accurate to the actual event and captures people’s feelings of that moment in time all without being cringey to look back on. This movie “Dumb Money” is about the surge in GameStop stock that happened in the early months of 2021.

Most of us likely remember this time very well. We were in the height of a global pandemic and political tension was high, but in the middle of all of this there was seemingly a joke about GameStop, a video game store. What once was what most would consider a penny stock barely worth a second glance, was now gaining serious attention from the big wigs up in Wall Street. Somehow this stock found a 1,500% increase in its share price. What could cause this record breaking short squeeze? The simple answer is a Reddit forum called WallStreetBets. An even simpler answer is a man named Keith Gill. Keith, played by the incomparable Paul Dano, is a financial analyst and a YouTuber as a side hobby. On his channel “Roaring Kitty” Keith shares his financial expertise to his slowly growing list of subscribers. He tells his viewers that he has found an undervalued stock that he sees potential in, that stock is GameStop. Roaring Kitty’s fanbase soon expands to Reddit under the forum WallStreetBets, where users post vulgar memes and chant “I like the stock” as they invest their savings into the no longer joke of a company.

We see this shake out through the perspective of average people like a nurse who is a single mom (America Ferrera), a college student (Talia Ryder) and a GameStop employee (Anthony Ramos) who all test their luck on the stock market hoping to make it big with the bullish company, having Roaring Kitty to guide them. As much as they try, Wall Street can no longer ignore the persistent Redditors, and they make attempts to bring Keith under fire, now bringing the court system into the picture. Can the little guy make it out in this David vs Goliath financial battle?

One thing director Gillespie has managed to do is keep the tension high. Whether or not you already know the outcome of this real life story, you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat rooting for Keith, his family and his Reddit army as they fight for their right to play the market just like the big boys on Wall Street. If you don’t follow the world of finance, not to fear, this film helps the less money-minded viewer along without too much unexplained jargon.

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In a blend of “The Social Network” (2010) and “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013), with incredible acting from its leads, and only the occasional annoying TikTok dance, “Dumb Money” is a surprisingly accurate biopic defying all of the overused biopic tropes.

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About the Contributor
Cassandra Bauer
Cassandra Bauer, Film Reviewer
Cassandra Bauer (she/her/hers) is the Film Reviewer for The Winonan and started in Fall 2022. She is currently a third-year at Winona State University majoring in Film Studies and minoring in Journalism and Creative Digital Media. Outside of the Winonan, Bauer likes going to local coffee shops, attending yoga classes, reading celebrity memoirs, and of course watching movies. She also loves spending time with her friends, working at the movie theater in her hometown, and playing tennis.

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