By: Tommy Gleason

Rating: 7/10

“I want to ask you a favor.” Seven fateful words that dragged innocent women into a ponzi scheme of love. That is the story behind Netflix’s The Tinder Swindler. The documentary, released in February 2022, explores how one Israeli man conned women into giving him hundreds of thousands of dollars with the dating app Tinder.


The documentary opens with one woman, Cecilie Fjellhøy, explaining how she used Tinder to find love and matched with the con artist. The story unravels through Fjellhøy’s narration and recreated scenes. But then a second victim, Pernilla Sjoholm, takes over the narration and tells her story. Three journalists embark on a journey to uncover the con artist’s ploy alongside the two women and the ponzi scheme begins to collapse.


Director Felicity Morris previously worked as a producer on the Netflix documentary series Don’t F**k With Cats. Her experience shows through in the storytelling of this film. She provides engaging visuals of the messages sent between the victims and con artist. Morris also recreates the interactions between the people in compelling ways that draw the viewer in without seeming awkwardly fake.


A commonly held belief is that cons only happen to gullible people, so oftentimes the public is quick to blame the victims. Outsiders are likely to have a hard time understanding how someone could give thousands of dollars to a man they just met on Tinder and rarely get to see. However, this documentary argues for the women and presents them not as ignorant but compassionate. 


Morris’ greatest achievement with this film is giving the audience an inside perspective of how these women were swindled. She focuses on each woman’s desire for friendship and love while also showing their vulnerability. Morris attempts to convince the viewer that the women made mistakes, but that the con artist is the most at fault. 


The cinematography of the film reveals the emotional turmoil of the women. In a defining part of the film, Morris keeps the camera on Fjellhøy as she tearfully explains why she fell for the ponzi scheme. This style is present throughout the documentary and invokes a sense of empathy in the viewer. 


The wild story and compelling direction of the film makes it an entertaining viewing. It is not a flashy and action packed documentary, but its simplicity and focus on the emotional stories of each victim is captivating. For these reasons, I give the documentary a 7/10. I recommend it for documentary fans and people who like human interest stories. 

Edited 2/27/22

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Pronouns: she/her/hers Kayla is a MU Journalism student with a double minor in Sociology and French. She joined MUTV's Entertainment section in the spring semester of 2021. She is currently the Technical Producer on Entertainment's Executive Board.