Fyre Festival

A fascinating new documentary film from Netflix flaunts the thirty-something generation’s lust for social media clout and the completely blind followership that often ensues. At the pinnacle of this networking magic trick is American rapper Ja Rule and an unbeknownst con-man Billy McFarland, the co-founders of the inaugural Fyre Music Festival set to take place in the Bahamas in less than six months.

“Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” takes viewers on a titillating island promotional shoot, an inside look at the frantic planning and last-minute preparations, followed by a disastrous train wreck for all involved by the film’s ending.

Knowing the island music getaway culminates horribly for over 10,000 ticketholders and the hundreds of publicists, entertainers and blue-collar workers only adds to the hatred felt towards the event’s self-absorbed leadership. 

Watching McFarland’s cult-like followers brush off their own pragmatic concerns while squelching the need to speak up for themselves and others is shocking to witness. Every person close to McFarland, despite knowing that the island’s infrastructure was unable to handle the festival’s massive footprint, chooses to continue the music festival’s Titanic course towards the approaching doomsday iceberg finale. 

As months, weeks, and days get closer to the musical festival’s opening, the stress of the event is felt even by us, the Netflix viewers. Empathy mounts for those trapped in the public relations nightmare that stretches all the way from New York City to an island rumored to be owned once by the infamous Pablo Escobar. 

Grade: B+

“Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” is a Netflix original movie rated TV-MA with a running time of 1 hour and 37 minutes.

Patrick King is a resident of Tucson and writer for the Reel Brief movie blog at reelbrief.com. Email him at reelbriefmoviereviews@mail.com.

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