#ThatFrameThough is a blog series reviewing television shows, movies and other quality video content that is currently being produced. With major companies such as Netflix and Amazon the quantity is overwhelming, but what can we say about the quality of the cinematography, story, acting, locations? This week in #TFT: Startup  

The Story 

A desperate banker, a gang lord and a hacker are forced to work together to unwittingly create their version of the American dream – organized crime 2.0. That’s the tag line of this Amazon show. And although I found it a bit cliche at first, this is a story that grows on you when the plot develops. And that has everything to do with the acting, well-written dialoque and cinematography. The story feels very realistic and seems to be in line with trending subjects such as startup culture, cryptocureny and the gap between different ethnic groups.  

The Characters 

Meet the banker Nick (Adam Brody) who is unfortunately typecasted, by performing an almost identical role as he did in the The OC. For this reason, I don’t like his acting, because it so stereotypical and feels like he is playing himself.

The female lead Izzy (Otmara Marrero) is a Cuban-American whizzkid that has developed her own cryptocurrency network over years of coding. She plays very convincing in her fist major role and I would like to see her in more shows/movies.

The last lead is Ronald aka Ronny (Edi Gathegi) who is a notorious Haitian OG in the hoods of Miami. I like Ronny’s character the most, because of the acting and the raw environment he is in. All three of them are struggling in their own way, but there is no doubt that Ronny has it far worst than all others. This raw intensity he brings reminds me of Denzel in Training Day (one of my fav’s) and definitely keeps you invested in the story.


Another character I found interesting is special agent Phil (Martin Freeman), because of his obvious flaws and way of dealing with this. Easily frustrated, but still tries to keep his cool. Do you feel pity for him or is he a dangerous psycho?   

The Cinematography    

As a filmmaker I always tend to look at the cinematography as a critic. How are they framed, what grading did they use, do they use any “tricks”? Well, I can say that this show is really performing on its A-game when talking about cinematography. They use a very shallow depth of field, which gives your shots a nice “bokeh” (aka the Instagram effect) and place objects in front of the frame. This means that you are looking over someones shoulder or behind a bush, which gives you the feeling of sneaking around as the story unfolds. The beautiful landscapes of Miami are shot by drone or helicopter and is being used when changing storylines and does it job perfectly.


Source: Amazon Prime

The grading is raw and realistic with a lot of dark tones (except for the pool scenes in contrast), underlining the overall feeling of the show seamlessly.   

The Verdict 

This is show worth watching. See it as a crossover between The Social Network and Training Day. It has realistic acting, beautiful shots and the story has some tricks in its sleeves that will leave you wanting for more.