“Bankrolled” (“Fondeados” in Spanish) is a Mexican film about two best friends, Polo (Aldo Escalante) and Blas (Ricardo Polanco), who pitch a social media app whilst high, thus not remembering pitching their wild idea. Much to their surprise, Polo and Blas wake up the next day realizing their app already has immense popularity, so they take it upon themselves to create their very first startup, despite their inexperience.
With rap/hip-hop beats playing in almost every scene, “Bankrolled” keeps viewers easily amused. Although some might find the consistent beats distracting, this unique aspect of the film creates a fun and attentive vibe.
The music adds personality to the characters and their experiences throughout “Bankrolled,” such as the evident bromance between main actors Aldo and Ricardo. In fact, Aldo, Ricardo and Joaquín Ferreira (who plays spin instructor Bobby) all acted together in the Mexican dramedy series “Club de Cuervos.”
There are notable similarities between the characters that Aldo plays in “Bankrolled” and “Club de Cuervos,” such as his fondness for drugs and getting high, his head-in-the-clouds personality and his goals that are perhaps too ambitious. However, Polo is a much more extroverted character than Aldo’s role as an assistant in “Club de Cuervos.”
Even more so than Aldo, Joaquín portrays similarities between both of his characters from “Bankrolled” and “Club de Cuervos.” In “Bankrolled” Bobby is an overly-sexual and gorgeously in-shape spin instructor. Although he only appears in two short scenes, Bobby is dripping not only with sparkling sweat, but also with a highly regarded reputation by the flirtatious ladies in the gym he works at. He passionately struts around the spin class wearing an ab-revealing wrestling singlet, which is not far off from his temporary stripper uniform in “Club de Cuervos.” It’s hard not to love how funny Joaquín is as an actor; his roles thus far are consistently entertaining and hilarious.
Unlike Aldo and Joaquín, Ricardo’s roles in “Bankrolled” and “Club de Cuervos” differ. Ricardo’s small role in “Club de Cuervos” was an ignorant, juvenile partier, and he was an overly devoted temporary best friend to already airheaded main character Chava. On the other hand, Ricardo as Blas in “Bankrolled” is a lazy and content aspiring barista. As his parents often complain in the film, Blas tends to settle for less than he is capable of doing, probably due to a fear of failure or change.
Due to his father’s rigid views, Blas doesn’t have a very loving relationship with his parents. Although Blas’ parents only want the best for him, their unsupportiveness of his passion for coffee is likely what holds him back from reaching for the stars. Because of Blas’ unstable relationship with his father in particular, it would have been nice to see some sort of satisfactory closure between Blas and his parents at the end of the film.
However, Blas is not the only one with parental issues. “Bankrolled” does not reveal any family members of Polo’s, but Polo sure seems to want to impress Blas’ parents. Perhaps Polo’s lack of a family encourages him to feel closer to Blas’. Some examples of this include Polo complimenting Blas’ mother’s rice, excitedly convincing Blas’ father Genaro (Jorge Zárate) about their project in progress and being interested in Blas’ brother Carlos’ (Mario Escalante) unboxing gig.
Although Polo may wish to impress Blas’ parents as if they were his own, it’s also very possible that he wants to protect best bro Blas from losing a relationship with his own parents, like Polo possibly did with his. Polo’s protectiveness over Blas is sweet, but to Blas it only comes off as condescending and irritating, which becomes more and more evident throughout the film.
Despite the setbacks in Blas and Polo’s friendship, their mistakes only strengthen their bond even more, and their devotion to one another as best friends becomes unmistakable. Seeing that “Bankrolled” is not actors Aldo and Ricardo’s first time on screen together, let’s hope it isn’t their last either.
Overall, “Bankrolled” provides a fun and upbeat experience for viewers. Although some viewers might prefer less music being played, and it would have been nice to see more satisfactory closures, the performances in the comedic film are very enjoyable to watch. The chemistry between Aldo and Ricardo is undeniable which makes “Bankrolled” especially charming.
“Bankrolled” is available to watch on Netflix.
By Lauren Weber