The Tinder Swindler (2022)
Director: Felicity Morris
A fraud man who attracts women using the popular dating app and tricked them out of millions of dollars. – IMDB
*Originally posted on Friday Film Club*
As the world moves into finding love on dating apps, Netflix has taken as an inspiration for many different shows like The Circle which bases itself around how to make yourself likeable via solely social media and no physical contact and films like its latest Holiday film, Love Hard (review), each of them with the similar angle of catfishes. Whether its guilty pleasure reality shows or fictional rom com, nothing prepares you for the modern day dating apps like Tinder which is just a series of swiping through someone’s picture to decide their interest and to hopefully find a match. The Tinder Swindler is a documentary about the going-ons of three women who almost simultaneously was caught up with Simon Leviev who keeps his expensive lifestyle by using the money he cheats from one woman for the next venture and essentially accumulating enormous debts and how these women team up to fight back to try to get him caught by the police.
The Tinder Swindler starts off with Ceclie, a woman living in UK who has been a lot of dates from Tinder to try to find her love and talks through her thought process of deciding who to swipe right on. No matter the expert or not, her story tells of a long haul con game by this man that almost comes out of a fantasy. As the documentary follows her story step by step, the con truly starts when another woman from another country enters the picture even if they don’t know each other. These are the anchor points that start showing the money trail that is going on in this whole swindling business. Its not outwardly explained by the way the documentary unfolds is chronologically shown which helps with piecing everything together.
Much like how exposing this man in one country eventually does bring in some backlash and judgement, also emphasizing the harshness of the online community but still managing to achieve its purpose, which also probably is the purpose of this documentary being made acting both as a cautionary tale but also a specific target on this specific individual who has put these three women in debt that they have to pay off for making their bad decisions.
This documentary has a lot of great elements in the sense that it does fit into the current world especially as the pandemic is still looming in the air and dating apps seem like the only way to meet anyone. Its cautionary tale element and the purpose is essentially achieved as different articles have come up since the documentary’s release, and perhaps even before when the initial article was released. Its a great effort to share this story despite all the judgement.
Call it a little well-deserved revenge that doesn’t exactly change anything for their own situation but at least, the knowledge of the exposure makes up for it a little. Will the documentary do anything for the dating app users, maybe just in being more cautious and careful when approaching online, but its not a problem that can easily be solved especially if someone is intentionally trying to do it and when the convenience is just basing it on first impressions of a few pictures and a little blurb. For those who have been enjoying Netflix’s documentary releases, this one is a pretty decent one to check out.