Film: Fyre Fraud
Starring: Billy McFarland, JA-Rule
Director: Jenner Faust, Julia Willoughby Nason and Chris Smith
Streaming: Netlfix & Hulu
Review: Anthony H. [Reluctant Movie Buff]
Rating: Fyes Fraud 3X’s out of 5X’s
Rating: Fyre 3.5X’s out of 5X’s
Ah, the millennial haven that never was. The infamous Fyre festival (headed by the delirious, unflappable Billy McFarland and co-“hosted” by former Hip-Hop icon Ja Rule) is one of the biggest frauds in recent history, right up there with the Madoff scheme and the boy "trapped" in the Hot Air Balloon. The pitch: a lush getaway weekend on an island filled with exquisite cuisine, A-list musical headliners, hot models and so much open water. In the end, once the millennials arrived, there was nothing but tents for shelter (left over from Hurricane Michael), bare-bone sandwiches (bread and cheese) and the false promise of this event being the next Woodstock. Netflix and Hulu both release fine pieces of work documenting this disaster and fraud. Hulu’s “Fyre Fraud” serves as a reminiscent piece, looking back on everything that went wrong, from the planning to the execution. It even has the scammer McFarland himself as a talking head. Netflix’s “Fyre” has the best of both worlds: extra footage of the construction of this doomed event as well as extra perspective from angry residents who were personally and financially affected by the disaster. "Fyre" has more of a complete plate in terms of showing a contrast of the Fyre team's attitude as they are planning the event (optimism) to when they are a week out from launch (high anxiety). "Fyre Fraud" gives a wider, more fast-paced scope of reflection through their talking heads including a vague, somewhat-confounded McFarland. While Hulu's film treats the event as something hysterical, unbelievable and nothing else; Netflix takes a bit of a more humane approach by zeroing in on the people behind the scenes (from the food prepraers and the marketers). On the surface level, yes, the people who bought the tickets suffered a whole lot from this fraud but giving a platform to the people who tried their damnest to make this a real enjoyable thing and were also lied to by their leader, gives the Netflix doc more of a powerful feel. Personally, I believe the Netflix film gives you more bang for the buck but I would also argue that both halves complete the whole. More focused perspective in “Fyre” equals to wider scope presented in “Fyre Fraud”. Both, in their own uniqueness, is essential viewing in understanding just what the hell went wrong here.