The best documentaries rely on credible and accurate information. If Fyre hadn’t been a documentary and hadn’t been filled with talking head interviews from people that witnessed the chaos and bizarre event first-hand, you’d think this was a wacky Seth Rogan comedy.
All the ingredients are there; celebrities out of their depth, great ideas executed poorly, the inability to stop when things have gone too far and best of all, the whole event captured on smartphones and across the world via the internet for everyone to revel in (or become baffled by).
The story is of a music festival which was supposed to be the biggest of all time. An island destination, great music, luxury accommodation and a fantastic marketing campaign. You watch the beginning of the story wondering what could go wrong, and then slowly the character of main organiser Billy McFarland emerges.
McFarland is one of the few people involved in the festival who don’t take part in the documentary. This isn’t a surprise, he doesn’t come off well, but the rest of the documentary is well sourced, with information and first-hand accounts from everyone from the event producer, employees hired for the event and the people from the island itself who are still reeling from the events and the fallout from how badly it was handled.
The build up to the festival holds a lot of interest. The planning is done so badly, with over-promising, money being thrown at problems rather than finding solutions and then when deadlines are missed, the event isn’t cancelled. That is when the documentary comes into its own though, with people arriving on the island, unaware to how terrible things are. You watch through your fingers, mouth agape as everything you see is so unbelievably terrible.
The fallout holds with it more tragedy than unbelievable farce though and its a shame that as funny and incredulous as the whole event is, there is a darker tone that has affected so many people for the long term. The documentary speaks to people from the island, people who invested in the venture and those who still have jus cause to hate McFarland, who doesn’t seem to be doing as badly as he could (or should) have been.
Overall, Fyre tells an incredible story which would be difficult to believe had it not been for the great eye-witness accounts which are used to recount the tale. Its interesting in every aspect, particularly when the festival tries to go ahead. It also hols interest in the long-term effects too and how little the whole sorry farce has damaged those it really should have.
Rating – 5!
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)
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