Her reply indicates some of the problems with this production: “Everyone in the country suffered from it [the financial crisis], so we treated it like a thriller, like it was a regular movie.”
The movie features a fine cast, and a few of the actors have been given characters with a degree of dimensionality. However, the filmmakers’ decision to make a “regular movie,” i.e., a formulaic one, results in the type of stale story of a valiant individual saving the US from an evil power (in this case, certain predatory elements on Wall Street) so prevalent in American political movies. Not only is the story stale in this case, it is also untrue.
Most damaging to the television film’s credibility and ability to grapple critically with the epochal 2008 crisis was the choice of former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as the individual in question. In sum, Too Big to Fail is propaganda for the population presented from an upper-middle class liberal perspective.
Too Big to Fail focuses on Paulson (William Hurt) as he and other top financial figures (both within and without the Bush administration) respond to the September 2008 crash. Initially, they are certain the problem will be contained within the subprime mortgage market, but as stocks plummet and rumors spread of major investment firms failing, the White House and Wall Street clash over who should save the banking system: the government or the private sector.