Lies. The only thing Bernie Madoff could use to steal his billions was trust built off of lies. Although he is still considered one of the smartest business men to ever live, he is also infamously recognized as the filthiest. Madoff had enough people fall into his trap, known as a Ponzi scheme, to gain over $65 billion; the biggest Ponzi scheme the world had ever seen. He ripped off charities, cities, Fortune 500 companies, and even the New York Mets. He seemed unstoppable, and was an expert at flying under the radar, but in December of 2008, after a long investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bernie Madoff was arrested on counts of fraud and running a Ponzi scheme.
Alright, enough with the history lesson. ABC announced the miniseries, “Madoff”, in November of 2015, and set it to air in February of 2016. It starred Richard Dreyfuss, best known as Hooper in Jaws, who could not have acted the part any better. He had a certain sliminess in the way he talked, but he made the viewer want to believe anything he said, just as Bernie was able to do. With the excellent supporting roles as well as the writing, Dreyfuss was also unstoppable. However, as good as the acting and screenplay was, the show deeply lacked direction, and quality cinematography.
As I watched Madoff slowly become carried away by his greed, I could not help but notice how empty the visuals were. It all seemed unfinished: the visuals, the editing, the sound; nothing worked together properly. This greatly decreased from the overall quality of the show, as it is hard to stay focused on the good parts of the show when the poor parts are literally right in front of the viewers face. However, as disappointing of an aspect of the show this may be, it does not harm the quality of the writing and acting that was so good.
Overall, Madoff was successful in what the creators were trying to accomplish. It finally shed light on a topic that was still mysterious to many Americans, including myself, and created a story that had previously been told in a different way. It created color that otherwise would not be there, which many people find appealing.