The Gold Watch
Forever Rich is a bit of a mess. It’s a movie that tries hard to revel in the gritty underbelly of the hip hop scene, pointing out how cutthroat the industry is, but struggles to come across as anything other than a pale imitation. Despite some good acting and a couple of nice character moments late on, Forever Rich is forever destined to go down as mediocre at best.
The movie itself centers on arrogant rapper Richie. He’s on the cusp of becoming a millionaire, with a lucrative deal promising 3 albums in 3 years. It’s a lot of work, something his partner exhibits concerns about. Rich is unperturbed though, having clawed his way up from the streets to the public eye. He’s not about to throw that away now.
Of course, his hard-nosed rapper persona is just that – a persona. That evening he’s surrounded by masked muggers in the car park, holding him up to ransom with a machete to his neck. Unfortunately, Rich has his prized gold watch and belongings stolen and as he starts crying, all of this is recorded and plastered online.
Unfortunately Rich’s career hangs in tatters after this, struggling to sell tickets and with the media throwing daggers at this doomed rapper. In order to turn it around, Rich sets out on a revenge mission to track the muggers down and make them pay.
There are two big problems with Forever Rich, and both of them drag this film down in a big way. The first comes from Rich himself; he’s just not a particularly likable character. At one point he grabs his girlfriend around the throat while another sees him hold his best friend up at gunpoint.
Now, I understand that your main character doesn’t have to be likable but honestly, you’ll find yourself indifferent with Rich’s mission by the time the final act rolls round.
This third act is a whole problem of its own. The conclusion is rushed, leaving big plot holes and question marks surrounding the fate of several characters, along with a conflicting message by the time the credits roll. I’m sure “violence solves all your problems” isn’t what this film is trying to get across and yet, that’s what we end up with.
To be fair though, Rich does have a pretty good arc, having changed and grown from his experiences across the movie. It does take some perseverance to reach this point, but the final few shots of Richie’s face – an extreme close-up of his eyes in particular – works wonders to showcase this.
When it comes to filming, there’s an innate desire to keep the camera fixed on Richie at all times. While that in itself isn’t a bad thing, some of the handheld camera work is really messy. The camera swings and jolts all over the place, especially during chase sequences, with some harsh cuts only accentuating the issues.
Having said all that, Forever Rich does have some nice ideas about fame and the pressures of putting on an online persona at all times. This is the one thing that helps frame the entire movie, blurring the line between Rich’s real personality and his hard-nosed rapper gig. The only trouble is, neither of these faces are particularly likable.
There’s just not enough to grab onto here and the crazy twists and turns only serve to keep things watchable to find out how this ends. Unfortunately, this won’t be a film you return to in a hurry.
Read More: Forever Rich Ending Explained