The pitfalls and dangers of online dating is a much discussed topic these days. The dating app Tinder is especially popular in public discourse. Recently, dating apps have played an insignificant role in many romantic comedies. Netflix recently released Love Hard, which is about a young woman who uses a dating app to meet the man of her dreams, only to find out that she’s been cheated on and her “match” isn’t what he’s saying. . While the online dating scam in this case is likely to make the audience laugh, the Netflix documentary “The Tinder Swindler” isn’t laughable at all.
by Lena Wasserburger
Because unlike “Love Hard,” there is no romantic happy ending here. From director Felicity Morris, who caused a stir with her movie Don’t F**k With Cats: The Hunt for an Internet Killer, the true crime documentary tells the true story of Cecile, who has been on Tinder and meets a man named Simon Leviev. Simon is the son of a diamond mogul, charming and generous – at least that’s what Cecil is supposed to believe in. Simon, whose real name is Shimon Hayut, is a “scammer” who uses a false identity to deceive women into getting their money. When Cecile finds out the truth, she decides to make her story public, join forces with other victims of scams and expose Simon.
There has always been something great about true crime documentaries, and The Tinder Swindler is no exception. The movie begins with excerpts from the classic Disney movie Beauty and the Beast played on a smartphone. In the background, Cecil talks about her desire to find love. At first this aspect was the focus: love. In a mixture of cell phone shots taken by the heroes themselves and recreated scenes, Felicity Morris tells a story that grows darker and more threatening as time goes on, until it finally becomes clear that it’s not really about love at all, it’s about lying, deception, and ultimately revenge.
The rhythm of the narrative and the dynamics of the film, combined with the ominous and repetitive music, create an immersive effect that documentaries often don’t produce. The story itself is getting crazier, more and more unbelievable, and the suspense the movie creates continues until the end. However, it must be said that the film would not have had the same effect if the heroines, Cecile and two other women victims of Simeon’s scams, had not agreed to take part in the film. Their stories are what make the events real and not make it look like a fairy tale. However, it must of course be borne in mind that, like any documentary, this is also a production that is intended to be particularly entertaining and uses interesting stylistic tools.
“The Tinder Swindler” is one of the most entertaining and exciting documentaries that Netflix has released in recent years. The story makes a lasting impression, especially because of its ending, and gives at least material for thought, if not doubt, when it comes to online dating.
Pictures: (c) Netflix