If every society will get the El Dorado delusion it deserves, then I remorse to relate you that director Theo Treasure’s Netflix documentary The Story of Cocaine Island is per chance ours. It’s a story of greed, unwarranted optimism and incredibly heart-broken judgment, all in carrier of a get-wealthy-swiftly blueprint that can’ve been absurd even when it hadn’t been highly illegal. And its hero is none varied than “the field’s worst superhero,” local news headline ubiquity Florida Man.
Florida Man takes many forms; in Cocaine Island, he’s Rodney Hyden, the self-made owner of a building firm that after boasted 80 staff. He lives in Archer, a little city come the heart of the insist that an eloquent neighbor muses is “not the end of the field, however we are able to explore it from here.” After many prosperous years, the industrial meltdown of the leisurely 2000s with out warning pushes Rodney and his family into seven-figure debt. In hopes of getting better, he does one thing that he now admits was as soon as extraordinarily lifeless: He hatches a belief to secure, transport and sell $2 million worth of cocaine that Archer’s resident hippie, Julian, claims to have buried on the coastline in Culebra, Puerto Rico years earlier.
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Rodney is vigorous satisfactory to fancy that he won’t be in a web page to smuggle this form of tremendous amount of drugs on his possess. But it by no manner occurs to him that enlisting an arena vendor to place him with a trafficker several hyperlinks up the chain—or that acknowledged felony would possibly perchance most likely perchance even have a hidden agenda in offering to aid switch the coke in return for a modest minimize of the earnings—would be a substandard concept. So, with his opioid-addicted buddy Andy in tow, Rodney flies to Culebra and starts digging. By some capability, the recede doesn’t lunge pretty constant with belief.
Cocaine Island is a jaw-shedding portrait of a one that can’t end making catastrophic choices. (A pair of of those judgment calls seem downright unattainable, and Treasure admits in onscreen textual reveal that he wasn’t in a web page to independently check all aspects of the chronicle.) Whereas he raises a few considerable questions in regards to the American dream and the priorities of guidelines enforcement in our by no manner-ending war on medication, Treasure prefers to highlight the comic aspects of the debacle—of which there are, obviously, many.
The implications are actually provocative. But there’s an undeniable mean-spiritedness to the movie, too. Interestingly unlucky with the darkish comedy baked into the males’s story, the director openly mocks Rodney’s lack of knowledge. He brags about “talkin’ that smack, that drug discuss.” In reenactments where he performs himself (in each senses of the term), we explore him typing “cocayn” precise into a search engine and doing Scarface impressions. Even worse is the fashion Treasure performs Andy’s druggy mannerisms for laughs. This reveling within the misfortunes of desperate other folks is a staple of Florida Man humor, and it will get exploitative speedily. Did I command? Sure. But as the credits rolled, I felt dirtier than a gymnasium obtain stout of white powder encased in twenty years’ worth of sand.
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