Movie of the Day – Freakonomics
April 28, 2011 Leave a comment
I wish that my 4 economics classes that I took in college were just a fraction as entertaining and insightful as Freakonomics. While not a true look at economics, the Freakonomics book blends together pop culture or real world topics with the study of economics. When I first got my hands on the book years back, I absolutely enjoyed all the subject matter that the author was covering and how the study of economics is applied to every day situations or scenarios. Heck if my professor related Data Mining to cheating in sumo matches, I would be paying far more attention in class than I was.
So it’s interesting that the book Freaknomoics, turned into a film/documentary. It doesn’t add anything new to the book. The movie brought together several documentary filmmakers and the authors of the book to give us a story and visuals that accompany each story. This is more for people that are visual learners, as each section of the book is discussed in the movie. Some chapters get more coverage than the other, but the book is basically covered in the movie. The movie has 4 parts to it, as each part is given a different filmmaker to shoot in their typical style. The 4 main sections of the movie deal with the naming patterns of child in economic classes, cheating in sumo wrestling, the role of legalized abortion and the reduction of crime, and finally reinforcement in student teaching.
My personal favorite is the naming of children as it relates to their parents economic status. I felt that this was presented in both an entertaining and engaging way. While the cheating in Sumo wrestling also brought in some additional information that wasn’t present in the book. Economics may be a boring subject to most people and the authors and filmmakers did a solid job in recreating this book to the big screen. Each section has a differently feel and tone matched to their subject matter, but all the information presented is insightful with very funny bits of comedy interspersed during parts of conversations. This isn’t a heavy movie to watch nor is the subject matter. If you think of the movie more in terms of a sociology and pop culture movie, you can learn a thing or two about how economics has its place in society.
The movie is currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming and at a brisk 87 mins long, you can’t go wrong with an engaging documentary.