Images do dictate the truth these days, and thus, a social media presence seemingly conditions lives. Its apparent glitters and bling notwithstanding, Shady El-Hamus’ Dutch original Netflix noir thriller ‘Forever Rich’ comes as an intense, cerebral, and layered tale that forces the audience to ponder upon its hedonistic and flawed subject. The fast-paced thriller is also a coming-of-age biopic and a morality tale, decidedly postmodern in its outlook and compressed into a manageable duration of roughly one and a half hours.
The story follows shining pop artist Richie, who has it all – fame, stardom, money, women, social media followers, you name it. However, in the course of one night, he seemingly loses it all, only to regain it the following day. The ending is not technically comic, but the final few moments cause a cerebral surcharge in the viewer. The hero’s epiphany is worth noting, but what does the close-up shot really mean? Let us decode the final scenes in greater detail. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Forever Rich Plot Synopsis
Emerging popstar Richie has the groove going. With a loving mother, a committed girlfriend, and an online army of fans by his side, Richie seems unbeatable. He has a big show coming up, and he has struck a three-million-dollar deal with Sony. It appears that the trajectory of his success is only meant to go up, but a sudden robbery changes the mood.
The robbers — called 1112 Street Soldiers — mug Richie and his buddy Tony while recording the scene on the phone. The video goes viral on the web, and people are eager to take a jab at Richie. Upset over online roasting, Richie takes a vow to retrieve the watch. However, as the night spirals out of control, Richie comes to the brink of losing all of it.
Forever Rich Ending: Does Anna Come Back? Can Richie Redeem Himself?
The whole movie spirals out of control as a group of teenage vandals get hold of Richie’s watch and phone. Richie is upset with the video of him being robbed going viral in the media and adamant about getting his expensive watch back at all costs. He follows the group into their hotel room, but it is too late, and the thugs have fled the scene. He follows them to a distance, but the signal disappears. The robbers have switched off the phone, but Richie detects the group at a crossing, and the chase is on.
Richie and Tony follow them to a departmental store, and Richie calls associate Appie for help. Although unwilling, Appie comes to the scene, only to be fatally stabbed by one of the goons. Tony and Richie capture one of the delinquents in retaliation, and we come to know his name is Bilal. They rush Appie to a hospital and go over to Appie’s house to look after his children.
The watch is not retrieved, and Richie comes to realize that there is another problem. The robbers have Richie’s phone, which contains some scandalous secrets about Richie’s life. The passcode is 1112, and it seems that the delinquents are rogue fans of Richie. In retaliation for one of their members being kidnapped, the masked group upload a porno video of Richie in the media.
With this revelation, Richie seemingly loses his fan base, and his girlfriend Anna is quite upset, more so when she knows that Richie has had illicit sex while she was pregnant. Although Richie gets his watch back at the end, it seems that Anna does not come back. Therefore, Richie does not ultimately redeem himself, but he gets another shot at Sony after being rejected over the scandals. However, he evades the police and comes out unscathed in the aftermath of the endless night, and as the events of the night do not kill him, they make him stronger.
What Does The Ending Close-up Shot Mean?
Towards the end, Richie’s mother comes to speak to him backstage. The show would shortly open, and Jessica has given Richie the excellent news of Sony contacting them again for the deal. However, a plethora of record labels have contacted them, and Richie thinks Sony should be canceled. On the cue, Richie’s mother comes to meet him. She congratulates him on being sold out and exclaims about the queue of audiences outside the venue.
The scandal of the previous night does not affect her, and she even tells Richie that Anna must be a fool if she does not return to him. Because Richie, seemingly, is a “winning ticket.” In the scene under discussion, mother and son embrace, and there is a distinct unease in Richie’s body language. Then Richie looks up, and the camera zooms in on his face. He seemingly has a lot going in his mind, but his face gives away little. What Richie can be thinking at this moment, one may ask. Well, he is perhaps thinking about his uneasy relationship with his mother.
Richie’s mother comes off as a bad influence on him, while Richie figures as a grown-up child living under the shadow of his overcompensating mother. Richie’s perennially drunk mother previously spills in the media how Richie was fond of sleeping with her in his childhood, which would perhaps come off as cute any other day, but it distresses Richie even more under the circumstances. If you look carefully in the backstage set, you can identify a mirror by the door. And as Richie embraces his mother, his eyes probably catch the reflection of himself in the mirror.
The calculated placing of the mirror can indicate a reenactment of the infantile mirror stage. As Richie faces his latent desires in the mirror, the mark of repressed anger in his face becomes prominent, unearthing a duality in a seemingly straightforward character. Following the scene, Richie advances towards the stage, and he remembers his mother’s influence on him. Richie’s mother has instilled greed in him from a relatively early age, she has nurtured and encouraged it.
Richie comes off as a classic example of a toxic masculine subject, and his epiphany is only half-believable. But the surge of conflicting emotions boosts his spirit, and he channelizes the energy into a creative path. When he sings the song, the song becomes a subjective utterance that brings the imaginary to the symbolic, and with the wave of euphoria, Richie loses his grip on reality.
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