Thursday, January 20, 2011

Catfish (2010)

Catfish (2010) Dir. by Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

In late 2007, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost sensed a story unfolding as they began to film the life of Ariel's brother, Nev. They had no idea that their project would lead to the most exhilarating and unsettling months of their lives. A reality thriller that is a shocking product of our times, Catfish is a riveting story of love, deception and grace within a labyrinth of online intrigue. Written by Universal Pictures

How do I give a review without giving away anything about Catfish? We will find out I guess. I'm sure alot of people already know everything that goes on, or at least has their guess, as I know I did. I finally got to watch the film last night, but I didn't want to do the review until today. I really wanted to let it sink in as it is a very thought provoking film. Although it was never marketed completely this way, it is 100% a documentary. You may read articles or opinions out there second guessing the validity of the documentary, but there are NO actors in this film. I was a little let down at first, but mostly because the trailers and marketing material for the film lead me to believe it is a horror film when it is really a documentary. Don't let this discourage you, as there are some extremely disturbing events that happen throughout the course of the film. Since there are no actors, I can't really discuss how well the acting was, so I will skip right to the film itself.

Why these three friends decided to make a film about their friend Nev is never completely talked about, but it works out really well since it feels like they have 3 different kinds of cameras, and it brings a original and unique look and feel to the film. I will admit that it starts off a little slow, and by a little I mean it really bored me almost to sleep, but that is just the first 15 minutes or so. After that it really starts to pick up and get interesting. I didn't really care much for any of the people involved in the film, but then again they aren't actors, they just feel like annoying people sometimes. Their curiosity to uncover the truth and document the whole thing was really what kept me glued to the screen. About half way through the film my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and it disturbed me, and even at times had me second guessing the lifestyle I have now. The last half of the film is so gut wrenching and riveting that it makes up for the beginning. I really enjoyed the unique way the film was edited and narrated using not just the people themselves, but using various online applications to describe where they were going, or who they were talking to on Facebook. Cleverly placed photos with unique comments, and Google Maps continued throughout the film, but they all served a distinct purpose. The thing that disturbed me the most I will say, and that was Nev's awkwardly placed tattoo, and it made me very confused. Overall, I really enjoyed the film, and I will definitely revisit it at a later time, but brilliantly made, and cleverly but deceptively marketed. I thought about the film all last night and this morning and it has my mind in a pool of jello right now. If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend a viewing.

Entertainment Value: 9/10 Male Tramp Stamps
Cinematic Value: 9/10 Male Tramp Stamps


Hey! Look Behind You! said...

At first I thought the film was kind of funny but then when it got to the point of what was going on, it just became sad.

I was very fascinated with the film and the unfolding of everything but I'm not sure if the point of the doc was to expose the truth or to warn people that such things can happen and there are "sick" people out there.

If that makes any sense, haha. (It's hard to make a point without giving up the ending!)

R.D. Penning said...

I agree

Carl Manes said...

Damn with a review and rating like that, my mild interest is now piqued, will be checking CATFISH out for sure now Russ! Glad the film is actually as good as the trailer I saw for it!