"Fyre" Review: Netflix’s New Documentary Blows Up Millennial Culture

Kanchana Ngan |Jan 23, 2019

Netflix's new film is considered a howling success lighting up millennial culture when depicting the 2017 Fyre Festival debacle. Rating: 4/5.

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
Director: Chris Smith
Rating: 4/5

Fyre 1

If you are seeking for an hour-and-a-half of schadenfreude, Fyre is not really a right choice for you. Because instead of narrating the one-in-a-blue-moon ridiculous event and expressing anger, disappointment, etc., the movie focuses on how a man called Billy McFarland, could deceive thousands of people, from teenagers to different fields' professionals.

In case some need a reminder of the issue, Fyre Festival was a music festival taken place on a Bahamian island for two weekends in April and May 2017. Organised by Fyre Media founder, Billy McFarland, and rapper Ja Rule, the event made a big hit on the internet when advertised broadly and excessively.

Finding the news amusing and seem-to-be explosive, hundreds of rich kids paid a fortune to get tickets then flew to the destination only to discover the biggest lies of the decade. Instead of grand villas as promised, they were given dozens of tents, many of which were even set up yet. Rather than eating delicious meals prepared by global chefs, they only had loads of sandwiches, cheese and salad stored in styrofoam containers. So much surprise, annoyance, irritation they suffered, those rich and supposed-to-be well-educated kids began looting and pillaging the island, literally trying best to destroy everything they could.

Fyre 1
Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule.

As news of the scam spread, the festival’s organisers fled the scene, leaving the rich kids trapped on the island unable to find a possible way back. They were even locked in a closed room with "no air, no food, no water", as an insider captioned on her Instagram post.

Fyre wishes to bring out possible reasons leading to this absurd disaster. The documentary's producers conduct a further investigation into several McFarland's cooperators in the event, social media experts, organisers, caterers and managers. The result comes out disappointingly when most of them are unprofessional and inexperienced. The man in charge of logistics was a self-taught pilot hired by McFarland because of his booking talent which had never booked anyone in his life. Yet anyway, they acknowledged that event's preparation was far from qualified, which surely should not happen. Despite their constant refusal to follow McFarland's unreasonable orders, or advice to pull the plug, he just did not give it care.

Director Chris Smith, a prominent individual with rich experience in making modern non-fiction classic films, describes the situation as an act of "selling a pipe-dream to the average loser." Because it is later revealed that McFarland gave false documents to investors so that he could defraud millions from them.

What pours fuel on the fire is the set of excessive marketing scheme, also apparently depicted in Fyre. Numerous celebrity models promoted the "fake" festival on social media, such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and many more hot faces. This scheme attracted massive attention from the public, spreading over the internet in just a few days. However, it turned out that those supermodels were paid for the advertisement without any knowledge about the event's real state and conditions as well as without any responsibilities with their followers, which then led to their accusation by law.

Fyre also raises criticism against hundreds of vapid millennials who paid a fortune to a strange company, only with the aim of enjoying the luxurious two-day weekend and boast it on social media. They are carefree, unworried in a negative way when wastefully making use of their money for useless things.

To make the idea standing out, Fyre, in later scenes, depicts the image of local workers giving their sweat and tears to establish the event, but were depressingly unpaid. Over a month, both day and night, then came to nothing without the labour's deserved dues.

All of the unpleasant matters stem from McFarland's intention to promote his Fyre music booking app. The film has been available on Netflix since 18 January.

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