‘Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets’ Review: Is It a Loss?
The documentary “Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets” begins with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, as new traders began using their stimulus checks to try out the stock market. The most optimistic traders have gathered on the WallStreetBets subreddit, where get-rich-quick dreamers share tips for undervalued stocks. At the end of 2020, GameStop was among their juiciest prospects.
The amateur investors who made GameStop’s early recommendations are an eclectic and irreverent bunch, from a grocery store clerk to a shopkeeper who wears a metal helmet to protect his identity. As this group of outsiders saw, GameStop had been targeted by hedge funds for short-term investments, essentially making it a stock that would make money for established investors if the company went bankrupt. But if the stock goes up, those who buy could take advantage of the bubble while generating huge losses for hedge fund managers.
It was the dream meme stock, and the film’s subjects remember using the business app Robinhood to execute their plan to rob the rich and give to themselves. Some have won millions. Others failed to cash in and suffered the consequences of speculation.
Filmmakers Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper build the story primarily through their interviews, but they know how to match the film’s style to the hyper-online vernacular of their gain-obsessed subjects. The interviews are interspersed with the memes these happy forum trolls shared when they thought they were going to make a fortune. It’s a fun and entertaining approach that offers a surprising degree of insight into the psychology that produced the GameStop phenomenon. Investors gambled with serious money, but their mindset was a wacky dive into hyperspace — a week of gambling in cyber-Vegas that, for some, was worth the hangover.
Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets
Unclassified. Duration: 1h29. Watch on MSNBC and Peacock platforms.