Bad Vegan: Fame Fraud Fugitives is now streaming on Netflix. The 4 episode documentary is based on the infamous fraud case, which involved a celebrated vegan restaurateur Sarma Melngailis and ex-her husband, Anthony Strangis. The series is directed by Chris Smith.
The Netflix synopsis for Bad Vegan reads, “A-list vegan chef Sarma Melngailis falls for a mysterious charmer who sweeps her off her feet, promising to pay her debts.”
Netflix’s Bad Vegan Review Contains No Spoilers
Netflix’s documentary series Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives are based on Sarma Melngailis and how she became a huge hit with her raw vegan food in the 2000s when it wasn’t even popular. She co-owned the restaurant in New York called ‘Pure Food and Wine’. From fitness and food enthusiast to celebrities, the restaurant was popular among the elites. Various media publications and magazines also covered the restaurant and Sarma’s impeccable journey to bring raw vegan food into the limelight.
However, things took an ugly turn when Sarma Melngailis’ employees accused her of not providing them the wages. Sarah and her then-husband Anthony Strangis did something so wrong that it led to a massive $2 million fraud. The couple ran away when the employees called them out. But a pizza delivery order cost them a lot, and their location was revealed to everyone!
In the Chris Smith-directed Netflix documentary Bad Vegan, Sarma Melngailis narrates her own story. From her string of bad relationships to how she met Anthony, who easily manipulated her to give him money, Sarma opens up about the big tragedy that changed her life drastically. The fraud is too big to leave one jaw-dropped. But what will startle you that one of the major reasons she was helping her husband Anthony is because he promised her he would make her dog Leon immortal.
Smith and Sarma take us through a linear timeline about how her first job was and when she decided to start her vegan restaurant. From Alec Baldwin showing interest in her to how she’s very empathetic and trusts people, Sarma and Smith sketch us how desirable yet kind Sarma has been. With every episode, we get closer to knowing about Sarma and Anthony and how they stole $2 million together, which belongs to the restaurant’s employees.
The story of Sarma Melngailis is quite astonishing, considering the incidents that happen with her. Yet, you sometimes wonder why she would go to such extreme lengths. We find out what the two do, which lead them to commit fraud and become fugitive. Yet the reasoning by Sarma leaves us wondering – Is there more to the story?
As viewers, we only know Sarma’s side as the makers mentioned that Anthony Strangis didn’t respond to them. So, even if it’s been made to show that these are the answers, there’s a “what if” in your mind.
Bad Vegan Review: Final Thoughts
After The Puppet Master and The Tinder Swindler, Netflix has released yet another crime-focused and thrilling documentary. It is intriguing in parts. Despite having Sarma narrate the trauma she has been through, you feel like the answers aren’t enough. Maybe, if the reasoning for her actions were explained in a more detailed manner, their series would’ve felt gratifying. However, it’s still a good watch for those fond of such docuseries.
The documentary series is now streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.