Netflix’s Dutch drama, Forever Rich, displays a plethora of essential layers, like adverse effects of Cancel culture, toxic masculinity, male ego, and stardom. The plot centers on a famous rapper, Richie Rick, who proudly flaunts his “gangsta” persona over social media. However, the conflict arrives when local gangsters rob Rick and humiliate him over the internet to make him realize what an actual gangster looks like. The story spread over one night follows Richie’s revenge to gain back his fragile honor and transform in due course.
Directed and written by Shady El-Hamus, Forever Rich is streaming on Netflix.
‘Forever Rich’ Plot Summary
Richie Rick (Jonas Smulders) is a young rapper who tries to sell tickets for his Forever Rich Tour live show happening the next day. Rick goes live to request his fans to buy the tickets asap. His wife, Anna, detests Rick for being on the phone 24/7, while Rick’s mother, Els, is a heavy drinker who just likes to pamper her son.
At night, after the rehearsal, Rick’s manager, Jessica (Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing), surprises Rick with an upcoming three-year deal with Sony for three million. In celebration, Rick wraps up the rehearsal and walks to the underground parking lane with his best buddy-cum-tour manager, Tony (Daniël Kolf). Near the car, some masked men on two-wheelers terrorize Rick and Tony and threaten Rick to hand over his rose-gold watch.
One of the masked men hits Rick and scares him with a machete. He records Rick on camera and calls him a “wannabe gangster” as tears flow down from Rick’s eyes in a panic. The masked guys call themselves the real 1112 street soldiers and pressurize Rick to stop imitating them in his videos.
After the humiliating incident, Rick and Jessica visit the police station, but authorities fail to help them. Rick decides to bury the incident and celebrate his new contract with Sony. However, at the family dinner, the menacing street thugs upload Rick’s video and humiliate him further. The viral video adversely affects the ticket sales for Rick’s upcoming show, and thus to take revenge, Rick decides to hunt the malefactors.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Hunting the Thieves
The viral video took a toll on Rick’s toxic “gangsta” image, and all his fans and social media influencers started canceling him. As a result, Rick’s popularity diminished, and ticket sales hit rock bottom. Rick decided to teach the masked thugs a lesson.
Tony informed Rick that the bag stolen by thugs, also had Tony’s mobile phone. Rick traced Tony’s cellphone and, after they found the thugs, he called his bodyguard, Abdel “Appie” (Mustafa Duygulu), to help them.
In the combat, the thugs stabbed Appie, but Rick captured one of the thugs, Bilal, who wore green Balenciaga shoes. Tony and Rick brought Bilal to Appie’s apartment, where Rick discovered that the thugs had uploaded his sex tape on the internet. Tony hesitantly revealed that Rick’s private phone was in the bag as well. Rick explained that he locked his personal cell phone with the code “1112,” the number tattooed on his belly and could have been easily guessed.
The thieves demanded 50000 euros in exchange for Rick’s private images on the cell phone. After Rick’s indecent video went viral, his wife Anna threatened to leave with his baby son. A devastated Rick tried to handle the mess and ended up at the old mall in 1112 to pay the ransom money and retrieve his personal phone and watch. After a heated argument, Rick pulled out a gun on the thugs. The thugs snatched the money bag and ran away. During the chase, Rick captured one of the thieves and recorded him on camera at gunpoint. Rick humiliated the kid like they humiliated him and accidentally shot the thug’s leg.
‘Forever Rich’ Ending, Explained
After retrieving his belongings, Rick recorded himself on camera at dawn. He flaunted his toxic masculinity on camera and showed that he recovered his stolen watch from the rats.
Rick returned home with a sense of victory, only to discover that he lost more than he imagined. Anna took Rick’s baby son and left him. The incident caused a severe panic attack and suffocated Rick. The sequence symbolically suggested that Rick was an emotional person who hid his feelings behind a fake mask of sturdiness.
For some reason, today’s generation perceives emotions and feelings as a sign of weakness. While showcasing weapons and muscles makes them feel robust and socially acceptable.
Rapper Richie branded himself a “menacing gangsta” It could be his form to convey his message or just a mask he felt comfortable in. However, the problem was he detested his true personality to protect his fake brand image. Rick’s mother told the press that behind all that talent was emotion. A vulnerable person with a lot of fear and a lot of crying. Rick called his mother a liar for telling the truth. In all his might, he didn’t want to be a person who shed tears as if it was a sign of weakness. Rick forgot that he was an artist, and without signs of vulnerability and emotions, art could be anything but not truth.
After Rick took his revenge on the thugs, his fame broke all records. A large crowd erupted at his live show. It wasn’t just Rick who was to be blamed, but the entire generation that celebrated violence, revenge, and brutality. Rick even grasped offers from big sponsors, and he decided to ditch Sony as they ditched him.
In the end, Rick walked towards the stage while he remembered the promises he made to his mother in his childhood. He said he would become a millionaire. Well, Rick did become forever rich and famous. But is it the end goal of an artist to have all the money in the world but have nothing to say?
Forever Rich is a 2021 Dutch Crime Drama film written and directed by Shady El-Hamus. It is streaming on Netflix.