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Forever Rich 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Richie (Jonas Smulders) is the shit in Dutch hip-hop, and he has the fur coats, platinum grill, and creeping neck tattoo to prove it. Or at least that’s how he sees it, from his insulated perch backstage at the arena that will host his first big tour. Surrounded by an entourage that includes a camera crew (the better to film those instant TikToks), his hanger-on/best friend Tonie (Daniel Kolf), his belligerent, alcoholic mother Els (Hadewych Minis), and his harried manager Jessica (Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing), who’s just secured him a three-album record deal with Sony, Richie fires brash missives into the social media void and rambles to anyone in earshot about how he came from nothing, but knew “deep down that I was worth a million. Get it?”
Richie’s manufactured persona drips with bravado, but it’s a thin veneer. The toadies and yesmen won’t say anything, but his eyes seek approval whenever his mother speaks up, and he’s a little boy again, hamming for her camera and spazzing out about building a McDonald’s in his mansion. And that veneer proves to be even thinner when he and Tonie are jumped by masked thugs on scooters. They beat him down, steal his prized wristwatch, and film the entire attack for social media. “Wanna be gangster, acting tough in your videos. Look at those tears.”
A cut over his eye is one thing. But the shot to his self-esteem is the deeper wound. The Internet comes alive with headlines. “Rapper Richie Humiliated online!” “Robbed Rapper Cries on Camera!” and the likes and comments are nails in Riche’s suddenly canceled coffin. Determined to get his watch back and right the social media narrative, Richie and Tonie embark on a haphazard quest to engage their attackers, and the battle rages back and forth across the viral landscape as the would-be best-ever rapper learns a lesson or two about humility, the fickle nature of social media fame, and his own damn self.
Our Take: The vibe of Forever Rich feels formed from the very TikTok posts and FaceTime conversations that pepper the film, moving at the speed of frantic fingers typing out instant reactions to content and often feeling as gaseous and paper thin as Richie’s fragile ego. People only say “Yes” to the rapper, because he’s buying them sushi dinners and giving out iPhones as party favors. And so when the world pushes back, and it’s time to get serious, nobody in this world can do it, and the ones who try — Anna, Tonie — are pushed away by Richie. But as his universe dissipates quickly in the harsh blue glare of a device’s screen, Richie collapses in a blubbering heap, half-realizing that he’s lost Anna the only person who really mattered, and partly coming around to the fact that probably nobody ever believed he was a tough, street-tested rapper in the first place — the fans, the hangers-on, the voices without faces online. If you often find yourself contending with social media fatigue, as so many of us do, then Forever Rich will only reinforce the notion that the way we communicate today is poison. What it also represents outright is that Richie’s bragging and carrying on is just a function of that environment.