Spread it or ignore it?
Written and directed by Marcos Bucay, Bankrolled (Netflix) is a cheeky comedy that draws a lot of its disappointments by embracing the hollow nature of our contemporary culture embellished with social media and the garish world of startups and tech buzz. The two slackers at its center want to be rich and reunite, but might have to convert their souls into bitcoin to do so.
BANK: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
The essential: Polo (Aldo Escalante) and Blas (Ricardo Polanco) released their twenties in Mexico City. Blas has a flair for gourmet coffee and can work his way with the best baristas, but Polo says he also has “a superiority complex in disguise for nothing.” As for Polo, his marketing degree only allowed him a few cocktail invitations, where he and his carefree roommate drift on the fringes of the city’s thriving startup culture. This all changes when Aderales (Fabrizio Santini), their hooked up drug dealer pal, introduces them to ‘Ukrainian Ritalin’ and, in a state of mezcal-soaked cognitive overdrive, Polo and Blas launch an app called ‘SignNow’. on the Fondeados crowdfunding site. (Fodeados, or ‘in the money’, roughly speaking, is also the international title of this film.) SignNow combines the well-being of social justice (think Change.org) with social media connectivity and the DNA of the Candy Crush game, and when Polo and Blas wake up from their bender, users are already madly pushing that donate button. After making their way into the tech world, all that’s left for these two is to refresh their product.
Fondeados and Gus (Sebastian Zurita), his evangelizing snapshot of a founder, are looking for the next tech space to focus on, and when Fondeados account manager Nat (Natlia Tellez) suggests SignNow, Gus donates $ 2 million. of funding dollars in Polo and Les tours de Blas. They quickly acquire a sprawling, glass-walled office space and fill it with a ping-pong table, spaces for rompers, futuristic armchairs with built-in LCD monitors, and a coterie of lazy millennial staff members. . Suddenly CEO Polo develops illusions about Steve Jobs’ greatness with the social media presence to go with it, as Blas heads in the opposite direction, his jaded nature and Reddit-informed suspicion of the empty-headed tech space imposing on any ability to enjoy the ride while it lasts. And with the major funders and Fondeados spinning like vultures, SignNow must fall into place or shut up. After all, Nat’s job security is on the line and Polo and Blas’ friendship is on the line.
What movies will this remind you of? Light, airy and contemporary in subject matter and speech, Funded has a lot in common with writer / director Marcos Bucay How to survive celibacy (Amazon Prime), the Mexican comedy series he co-wrote with Sebastian Zurita, which also appears in Funded like Gus. There is also generational feedback here. With its roots in the immediacy of contemporary startup culture, Funded suggests the “dot.com” movies of two decades ago, such as 40 days and 40 nights (2002), which also placed young people in their twenties in current and often gendered work cultures.
Performances to watch: Natalia Tellez is great as Nat, the ambitious crowdfunding director who wants to believe her tech boss’s blablater word, but knows deep down there is no substance to a platform that doesn’t chase. as the strings of the sequel. Tellez adds real pathos to a film built largely and purposefully around caricature.
Memorable dialogue: From Blas ‘brother pimping his young son like a pawn in his room to unlock viral fame and Aderales’ QR code neck tattoo driving traffic to his ‘nootropics’ app (“I’ve heard of it!” It’s banned in many places. Elon Musk invented Tesla on it… ”), to an angel investor promoting his“ Tinder, but for dogs ”and Ted Talk’s replacement“ YayTalk ”, Funded has a good ear for churn, kickoff talk, and the general nastiness of influencer culture.
Gender and skin: A first scene of Polo and Blas sharing the bathroom in their apartment is played for laughs. A SignNow investor challenges the sudden CEO Polo by making a scene of her breastfeeding in public. And Polo has sex with his girlfriend Sandra (Maria Chacon).
Our opinion : Depending on your uptake rate and general tolerance for the rotating social media carousel, with its constant permutations of new terminology, new platforms, and new mischief-makers to follow (Manufacturers! Influencers! Ugh…) , you will appreciate either how invested Funded is in the Internet language of the moment, or gets bored quite quickly of the little. After all, a joke on Tinder depends on whether the punchline stays relevant, and platforms have been known to catch fire as quickly as they crash and burn. For the best or for the worst, Funded got attached to the social media mast, and it’s going to sink with the ship.
Fortunately, Bucay’s script is as happy riding the wave as it is throwing the harpoon. Aderales, besides his QR code, words and hashtags in a dizzying mishmash of Spanish and English – he’s like the glittering, cracked screen of a mobile device you just dropped, the human version of an iridescent Swagtron. balancing scooter, a device he uses in the new offices of Polo and Blas. Every angle of the startup world is parodied here – from young coders hired exclusively because they hacked Kanye’s Twitter, to SignNow investors angry that a problem is preventing anyone from seeing they’ve pledged to donate. blood, an aesthetic here today / part tomorrow which rewards the new narcissism embodied in its “personal mark” and makes heroes of the insignificant. And when Funded reaches its nadir, which the true measure of a person is not in hearts, loves and follows but rather the old-fashioned notion of personality and human touch, is like unplugging his characters for a while. much needed screen shutdown.
Our call: Stream it. Funded takes a light turn through the internet and the obsessions of today’s startups and puts it all in this classic twenty-year search for her true identity.
Johnny Loftus is a freelance writer and editor living in Chicagoland. Her work has been published in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glennganges
To look at Funded on Netflix