Friday Streaming - The newest nightmare on the block is Netflix's The Tinder Swindler showcasing the horrors of modern love

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Shachi Lavingia
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The Tinder Swindler


Directed by Felicity Morris, The Tinder Swindler feels like living the nightmare that our parents told us we'd experience if we ever set foot on a dating app or trusted somebody we met on the internet!

What seems to be a simple 'girl meets boy on a dating app, sparks fly and then they do' tale soon turns into a cautionary one with dire consequences in The Tinder Swindler. This two-hour-long documentary feels more like a real-life horror movie that you don't think you can wash off. After the documentary's release on Netflix in February this year, The Tinder Swindler aka Shimon Hayut was sued by the real-life Leviev family for pretending to be the diamond heir, according to Indie Wire's article.

Cast - Cecilie Fjellhøy, Ayleen Charlotte, and Pernilla Sjöholm play themselves as the three women who were conned. Videos of Simon Leviev aka Shimon Hayut released by the three women show us snippets of him.



Storyline -
Cecilie Fjellhøy went looking for Prince Charming on Tinder and ended up falling head over heels with 'Prince of Diamonds', Simon Leviev, the son of an Israeli diamond tycoon, Lev Leviev, or so he made her believe. Ayleen Charlotte dated Simon for 14 months while he was seeing Cecilie and so many other women. Before these women could comprehend what's happening, Simon Leviev or should we say, Shimon Hayut had them wrapped up in his multiple tales of 'my enemies are behind this' and 'I can't leave a paper trail. I need a favor - please bring over $50,000. I'll pay you back". One personal loan after another, these women were totally $10 million in debt and decided to swindle The Tinder Swindler.

Watch the trailer here!

What I liked - Felicity Morris focuses on the narrative of the three victims, capturing their essence, how they got sucked into his web of lies and conspired together to have him convicted by going public with their story and leaving their hearts and lives open for social media to come, take a peek and judge simply so they could save more people from being conned and emotionally and mentally tortured. Here's a tale about how a conman breaks apart human beings, by forever leaving them in debt and skeptical to humanity instead of how brilliant his con really is!

What I didn't quite like - While this documentary was an eye-opener, what followed its release comes as a shock! Shimon Hayut was released from prison within 5 months of being arrested. After Netflix's release, he signed on with Hollywood talent manager, Gina Rodriguez and also launched an account on Cameo, a platform through which people can buy personalized shoutouts from celebrities, charging $200 for personal use and $1,400 for businesses, according to this article on The Guardian. While the three women who were scammed and featured in the documentary have started a GoFundMe to help pay off their debts. Capitalizing on his tainted fame might help him get richer while his victims struggle to pay off their debts; if this isn't cruel and unfair, we don't know what is!

Also Read: Friday Streaming – He’s here, he’s there, Ted Lasso on Apple TV+ needs to be everywhere, seriously!

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