Cat Fish Movie Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Catfish
Reviewed by Samuel Park on January 24, 2011
Hopscotch
presents a film directed by Ariel Shulman & Henry Joost
Running Time: 86 minutes
Rating: PG
Released: January 26, 2011


7/10

 


This is not the sort of film that I can easily discuss without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it. If you are one of those people, beware; reading beyond this paragraph will ruin the movie and the experience for you. This film is a documentary by two friends, Ariel and Henry, who follow their friend Nev (and brother of Ariel) as his friendship with an 8 year-old girl, Abby, blossoms into a friendship with her whole family via Facebook. Obviously, Nev's filmmaker friends thought this strange relationship worth documenting, and it's lucky they did, since his friendship with Angela, Abby's mother, and relationship with Megan, Abby's 19 year-old sister, turns in unexpected directions.

Spoilers to follow

The catch, or twist, is that Megan and many of the other people Nev was communicating with over Facebook do not exist. Nev's intimate relationship with Megan (which included sexting), was actually a relationship with Angela, something he only discovers after embarking on a road trip from New York to their home in rural Michigan to meet them in person. It's not hard to understand how Nev was tricked in this way, especially since Angela created an intricate web of lies that included fake cousins and brothers, all of whom were commenting on Facebook.

The most important question, that isn't answered, is why an attractive 23 year-old man felt the need to become so involved in a relationship with someone who he had never met. Is this just a symptom of the modern age? Do we find it so difficult to connect with people in reality that we have to move into an online world to start relationships and meet new people? Nev makes an off-hand comment that he was obviously needing the same thing that Angela needed, but the film-makers never explore this further.

I think that this is the one aspect of the film where it falters; the two friends are too close to Nev to be able to properly dissect his behaviour. On top of that Nev seems reluctant to explore any emotional things on his side and it's obvious these two friends have somewhat pressured Nev to be involved in this film, possibly a symptom of a their small project ballooning into a feature length film once they discovered the odd unexpected intricacies of Angela's world.

Either way, this is a fascinating film and should be seen with as little foreknowledge as possible. However, if you've been spoiled, Nev's journey still remains the film's most enjoyable aspect. Ultimately he discovers a lonely woman who uses Facebook to escape the reality of her life and, if we are the argree with her husband's analogy, a "catfish" - someone who keeps us guessing and therefore keeps us alive.






 
 



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