The Tinder Swindler movie review: Netflix’s true crime documentary subverts the genre in empowering ways

Constantly thrilling and surprisingly empowering, Netflix‘s The Tinder Swindler tells the almost-unbelievable story of three girls who went on the lookout for Prince Charming on a courting app, however ended up falling for somebody just like the Bunty Chor character from Oye Fortunate! Fortunate Oye! as a substitute.

Slickly directed by Felicity Morris and structured in a approach that ensures curveballs maintain coming at you proper until the very finish, The Tinder Swindler is the sort of film that, paradoxically sufficient, will power you to leap on-line and have interaction in a dialogue about it with full strangers the minute you’re carried out watching.

And it was with an identical want in her coronary heart—to really feel related to a different individual—that Cecilie, a 20-something from Norway, grew to become interested in the world of on-line courting. She describes herself within the movie as considerably of a Tinder knowledgeable, and blushes barely as she reveals she has matched with over 1000 individuals on the app.

Certainly one of them was a businessman named Simon Leviev. His profile didn’t elevate any alarms, nevertheless it actually appeared like he was promoting his wealth and jet-setting way of life. Cecilie did what any rational individual would; she googled him. And to her shock (and reduction), he checked out. They determined to exit for espresso. Over the following month, he courted her just like the very idea of courtship was about to exit of style. He took her to fancy dinners, flew her over to whichever nook of Europe he was at in that second, and methodically seduced her into falling in love with him.

After which, out of the blue, he requested for some cash. His ‘enemies’ have been after him, and so they wished him lifeless. Now, that is the precise second the place you and I might discover purple flags. However Cecilie didn’t. And there’s nothing that we will do about that. Positive, hindsight is a luxurious, however you need to keep in mind that Cecilie was a girl in love. And that she was coping with a profession prison.

It’s quickly revealed that Simon had pulled comparable cons throughout Europe, with doubtlessly dozens upon dozens of ladies (three of whom seem within the movie), and stolen an estimated $10 million from them. For what? To stay effectively.

And that’s the merciless irony on the centre of this story. Simon didn’t commit his alleged crimes due to any private causes. He went about his cons clinically, pushed by a pathological dedication to get his approach, whatever the (human) value.

It’s no shock that the movie counts Bart Layton as one of many govt producers. Layton, after all, is probably greatest identified for his 2012 docudrama The Imposter, which was about maybe one of the crucial notorious con artists of the twenty first century. Combining dramatic recreations with precise documentary footage, the movie instructed the story of the French confidence trickster Frédéric Bourdin, who by some means impersonated a lacking American boy, and really moved in together with his ‘household’ after being ‘discovered’.

The Tinder Swindler has an identical scandalous high quality, however in tone and magnificence, it’s of a bit with different blockbuster Netflix documentaries akin to Fyre: The Best Get together That By no means Occurred and The Legend of Cocaine Island.

At numerous factors, the ladies evaluate their predicament to being in a movie. Cecilie describes her first assembly with Simon as one thing straight out of a romantic comedy. Later, one other of his ‘victims’, Ayleen, says she felt like she was in a horror film when she found that she’d been lied to.

What makes The Tinder Swindler considerably higher than your common flavour-of-the-week true crime documentary is its admirable dedication to not sit on the fence about the entire thing. None of us should be reminded of simply what number of true crime documentaries money in on crimes dedicated (principally) in opposition to girls. The place an inferior movie would have merely instructed the story in a sleazy method, maybe even taking a victim-blaming tone, The Tinder Swindler turns the narrative on its head and focuses on the human-interest angle on the coronary heart of this horrible crime story. From a by-the-numbers thriller, it transforms in its last moments into feminist revenge saga. And boy, is it satisfying to observe.

It’s additionally outstanding to notice how, even after having their religion in decency systematically dismantled by a conman, the ladies are nonetheless idealistic about bringing him to justice. They go to the press, satisfied that telling their story to the world will change issues. And definitely, the movie is edited in a fashion that means it did. The Tinder Swindler is the uncommon true crime documentary that has minimal involvement of the police, or any form of regulation enforcement company in any respect. As a substitute, it offers journalists a well-deserved second within the solar.

There’s a very riveting stretch within the third act, through which a consortium of three reporters winds up at Simon’s mother and father’ home in Tel Aviv, and confront his mom (?) about his crimes.

The movie most likely gained’t have an effect on Match Group inventory, nevertheless it’ll most actually encourage some fascinating on-line chatter for the following couple of weeks, perhaps even on Tinder.

The Tinder Swindler
Director – Felicity Morris
Score – 4/5

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