Watching “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” is a distinctly vivid experience. Tracking the failed luxury music festival in the Bahamas from its inception to its seemingly inevitable conclusion (including several years of prison time for its creator, Billy McFarland), this documentary by Chris Smith is blessed with remarkable access to media footage that captures the exaltation and intensity of the experience for all involved. With great talking head interviews from a variety of charismatic participants, Smith creates a fascinating, step-by-step breakdown of this ambitious corporate endeavor ruined by a perfect storm of hubris, arrogance, megalomania, incompetence, fraud and delusion. In some ways, it’s easy to feel some schadenfreude when the house of cards comes falling down, but Smith nevertheless sidesteps any exuberance by keeping the movie rooted in the consequences for all involved, many of whom are innocent bystanders exploited by a charismatic con man.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)