Startup.com: Rising and Falling in the dot.com Age, Movie Review Example

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Movie Review

The film “startup.com” tells the story of two friends who go into business together in an effort to get their site “govWorks.com” off the ground. govWorks.com is intended to make it easier for people to deal with the challenges of dealing with government bureaucracy; the first thing the business focuses on is the mundane, if quite common, need to pay traffic tickets. The company principals, Kaleil Tuzman and Tom Herman, were high school friends who, ten years later, went through the trials and tribulations of dealing with a start-up operation in the dot.com boom age. In the end the business failed, and the pressures of dealing with the ups and down of the process placed a great strain on the friendship of Tuzman and Herman.

There are some definite highlights to the film, not the least of which is that a camera crew (well, really, two guys with hand-held cameras) was there to document the rise and fall of the company. The film does not tell a typical narrative, but rather just documents the various scenarios and situations the partners have to deal with. In the beginning it seems as if the business may do well, and it is not long before the partners have raised $50 million and hired hundreds of employees.

Almost as quickly as they raise the money, however, things begin to go wrong; before long, most of the money is gone and the business is eventually bought out at a bargain-basement price. Where the film falls short is in the “documentary” quality; too often there are events not seen on camera that may have helped the audience to better understand the proceedings. The film quality is sometimes difficult to watch as well, as the camera work is often quite blurry and shaky. Despite the film’s faults, however, there are some important lessons to be learned, the most important ones being “have a business plan” and “friendship and business very rarely mix.”

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