Netflix’s latest true crime flavour of the month is this feature documentary focusing on an Israeli con artist. He told his victims he was a member of a key family within the diamond industry. He then slotted into a very elaborate credit card Ponzi scheme. It’s not difficult why this documentary and story generally has caught on. The peace paints the victims as the type of people you would charitably class as hopeless romantics. That said the commitment to his scheme from the swindler is morbidly interesting. Being a feature as opposed to an unnecessary mini-series means the story doesn’t wear out its welcome. There’s a genuinely WTF inducing reveal at roughly the one hour mark That the narrative proceeds to do nothing interesting with this reveal. The filmmakers essentially admit in the closing text that there is nothing more to that side of the story Much as there might be mountains of true crime features out there The Tinder Swindler is pretty solid for what it’s trying to do. True crime completists and fans alike will get something out of this story.
The film concludes with the swindler’s capture. He effectively gets a brief jail sentence and a slap on the wrist. That is a somewhat generic “ Here’s how much money he stole. That said he is still out there“ admission On one level it’s hard to complain about this story getting more traction. It may well enable more victims to come forward. That said there are two decidedly more cynical reactions regarding this. The first is that the subject of the documentary now has a platform. There have been new stories coming out about hey morning to star in his dating show. Not to say any sensible commissioner would indulge this fantasy. That said certain people especially on the internet may want to help the con artist indulge his fantasies more than they’re willing to admit. Not to mention the open-ended nature of the conclusion plus the success of the film generally might compound Netflix to make any number of pointless spin-offs or follow-ups specials. It’s already astonishing how much Tiger King feels like it’s been milked to the bone two years later. Perhaps suggesting something similar might happen with The Tinder Swindler shows a level of mistrustful expectation from this water. Perhaps it is just an example of the expanded scope and still growing market for these types of true crime stories. We shall have to wait and see?