WeCrashed Review: Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway's series teeters between wildly entertaining and dramatic drab
Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway churn out high voltage performances in WeCrashed, albeit with a script that loses steam at a crashing rate. Read Pinkvilla's review below.
WeCrashed Cast: Jared Leto, Anne Hathaway
WeCrashed Creators: Lee Eisenberg, Drew Crevello
Streaming Platform: AppleTV+
WeCrashed Stars: 3/5
"Raising the consciousness of the world," is the constant mission mantra precariously imbibed by its building foundation; which led to the peak rise and crashing fall of WeWork, a start-up unicorn turned global brand valued at USD 47 billion before ultimately trudging as a case study on an epic IPO failure. And the reason is its eccentric co-founder Adam Neumann and his ultra-supportive wife Rebekah Neumann, quintessentially portrayed by Oscar-winning stars Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway in WeCrashed.
WeCrashed, the miniseries based on Wondery's eye-opening podcast WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork, begins with an epilogue of Adam being instructed to resign as CEO by a board of directors, who have finally caught up to his schtick, albeit a little too late. Then, over the duration of eight episodes, we're given a crash course on Adam's meteoric journey from a "serial entrepreneur," who tries to sell baby onesies (with kneepads on them!) and collapsible high heels. Eventually, through his own upbringing, Adam manifests a single coworking space that will revolutionise the world... or something like it! And it helps that he chance encounters the failed actress turned yogini Rebekah, who fuels further fire into Adam's megalomaniac dreams.
As WeWork grows in numbers and countries, Adam and Rebekah are truly deluded to believe that what they're doing is infact changing the world. When in actuality, it's all humdrum, driven by Adam's hypnotic way of speech and ability to brainwash the sharpest of minds. While 'We' might be the motto on paper, Adam very much drives with an 'I' approach, while the main heavy-lifting is done by the carefully curated team, most importantly WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey (Kyle Marvin). On the other hand, Rebekah threads the balance between being a devoted cheerleader for her man, who she believes is a "supernova," to innate jealously on the route of finding herself amid her super successful family members, including one Gwyneth Paltrow. True story!
With so many 'rise and fall of brands'-centric series of the recent past like The Dropout, Inventing Anna and Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber, surprisingly quirky creative liberty was taken in focusing more on Adam and Rebekah's dysfunctional love story in WeCrashed, which quite literally dictates what WeWork got spectacularly wrong. Given the limitations in the key material at hand with the podcast, it's understandable that creators, writers Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello would ideally let Adam and Rebekah's love story take free reign, what would have been a more interesting catch is focusing on the supporting players at WeWork and just how dastardly the effects were on the employees, particularly. We know that Adam and Rebekah get away from it all with a lot of chi-ching in tow, but what about those who blindly trusted Adam's b******t for year on end?!
In WeCrashed Episode 3 titled Summer Camp, which is the experimental best of the lot, we're given a brief appetiser of just how rigorously tiresome Adam's utopia of work culture can be, where the "Thank God it's Monday" shenanigans die down on its momentum at rocket speed. Moreover, with Benchmark Capital's Bruce (Anthony Edwards) as a primary example of a blind follower of Adam's overzealous beliefs, you're immediately curious to know what enticed them to believe Adam for as long as they did. The borderline madness surrounding WeWork almost feels fictitious and too otherworldly to truly digest, but it all happened.
When it comes to the high voltage performances in WeCrashed, Jared is pitch perfect in his Israeli accent and mannerisms (the prosthetic nose is a distraction, though!) as Adam and brings an electrifying light and stubborn empathy to Neumann, so much so, that you're unconsciously rooting for him to get away with it all. Wall Street, be damned! Similarly, Anne is dynamite as Rebekah, where the dramatic, woozy undertones never feel caricaturish, no matter how much the real life person demands it to be. The stellar acting pair manages to capture the psychedelic nature of Adam and Rebekah's chaotic love story, with their talented hands engulfing the black dramedy moments with finesse.
While Kyle is a bit of a boring droll as Miguel in WeCrashed, though one can't blame him thanks to Adam and Rebekah's galvanising dominance, America Ferrera as Elishia Kennedy, an eventual WeWork partner delivers an even-tempered performance and equally sassy in is O. T. Fagbenie as Cameron Lautner, a Benchmark Capital employee and a big thorn in Adam's euphoric financial high and lavishly absurd actions.
Katy Perry's Roar, as a constant soundtrack to the mayhem surrounding WeWork, was a genius elevation that's a handsome higlight in WeCrashed while Amy Williams' immaculate and clearly costly production design perfectly captured the elite yet obnoxious work culture space of Adam's big "American" dream. A special shoutout to Justin Krohn, Debra Beth Weinfeld and Tamara Meem for their seamless back and forth editing that never punctured the viewer's understanding of the time and setting in hand.
In finality, while Adam and Rebecca Neumann may have been "a love story worth USD 47 billion," an eight-episode series worth of emphasis with WeCrashed may have been a bit too conveniently overambitious. No matter how electrifying Jared and Anne are!
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