Day 100: Catfish (2010)


OK, I am going to come right out and say it. There is no way I am topping my X-Files review from last week today. It’s only once in a lifetime that a person comes up with a snappy phrase like: “eat it, Euclid,” and I already cashed in that chip.  In my defense, Euclid seemed to have a huge ego—granted he was the “father of geometry” but I’ve seen Judge Judy and there was a chance he could have been a deadbeat dad. The point is, I wasted an entirely witty comment on my 99th day, when I should have saved it for my 100th. That was poor planning on my part. I am sure I could have worked geometry i to my review of Catfish. Wait– how the heck did I even work it into conspiracy theories? Oh well, that’s all in the past now (you want a piece of me, Herodotus?).  I have to move on.

 

In celebration of my 100th post, I wanted to watch an edge-of your-seat thriller: complete with daring plot twists, spectacular effects, and a pace so fast that you would have to jog to keep up. Instead, I saw Catfish. Give me a break, it has been sitting at home since February 2. I had to watch it and send it back so I can get the Sharktopus DVD when it comes out. Hmmm, I wonder if this is the first time that Sharktopus and Euclid have been referred to in the same blog entry. So, Catfish it was. I will try to jazz it up a bit since it is a momentous occasion for my blog.

 

Catfish is [supposedly] a documentary about Nev, a photographer from New York. After having one of his photos published, he is contacted by an 8-year-old artist, Abby, who sends him a painted copy of his work. Nev starts corresponding with Abby and her family via Facebook and ultimately becomes involved in an online relationship with her older sister, Megan. After a few months of chatting online and on the phone, Nev begins to think that something is not quite right with Megan and her family. So, he makes a road trip with his brother and a friend to “drop in” on his virtual friends to uncover the truth.

 

But wait, that sounds kind of like a low-key film; not at all the fast-paced movie expected for this, my 100th review (I can’t say that enough, can I? 100th review…..). After reading my synopsis, I agree, but I believe I left out a key, exciting ingredient of the film: typing. Yes, in Catfish, the filmmakers use the big screen for what it was truly intended: mad typing action. We see facebook typing, Google searches, instant messages, and texts. After watching the film, I get chills just looking at my keyboard. There is no way I could type with such flair, such pizzaz. The scene where Meg made a typo in her instant message to Nev was almost too much to bear. The tension was thick– will she correct the misspelled word? Spoiler alert! She did. Honestly, there were just some crazy keyboard scenes in the movie. Truly, I can’t believe that more filmmakers aren’t using this formula more often.

 

I will admit that the film is a bit slow. I was getting annoyed watching people type things into Google, seeing them correct a typo, clicking “search,” then hunting through the results. It’s just something I do (better) every day on my own, so I don’t really see the necessity of spending time watching someone else do it. Throughout the beginning of the film, there are several agonizing scenes like this. I don’t know if it is supposed to make the film seem more “real,” but I would have preferred a tighter edit.

 

That being said, I actually found the film to be fairly interesting. The trailer promotes a twist ending. I guess from the commercials, I thought it would be thrilling or scary. Well, I wasn’t really thrilled or scared. However, I thought the premise was compelling enough to push the plot forward. I feel Catfish is making a statement on internet culture, virtual relationships, and the desire for human connection at any level. I will refrain from doing a deeper analysis for two reasons: (1) I don’t want to spoil the plot twist for those who haven’t seen it, and (2) this post would be substantially longer than it should be.

 

There has been rumblings as to the authenticity of Catfish. My first instinct would say that the film is fictional (or at least partially made up). Everything seems to fall in to place “just right” for it to be just coincidental that these events unfold the way they do. However, I still feel that many of the points the film tries to make are valid.

 

Although Catfish wasn’t the film I thought it would be, it was still interesting. It didn’t blow me away–probably because of all the typos and text speak (omg, 2 much “lol”, u know?), but I am glad I saw what all the hype was about. I wouldn’t strongly recommend the film as it is pretty slow with a low payout, but I can appreciate the cultural commentary that I believe it attempts to make. As a side note, I considered writing this entire post in text speak, but realized that would just depress me too much. You are welcome.

 

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day! :)

 

Score: C+

Netflix Queue: 473


One Comment, Comment or Ping

  1. steph meder

    We just watched this last week, and I would concur with your assessment. : ) After we watched it we had a “discussion” about how real it was, too. But I’m not the one who broke down and started doing searches on their phone about the veracity of the facts in the movie (while two laptops were pretty much within arms length – guess Internet on the phone is just super-convenient sometimes). All in all, I’m glad we watched it, but I wasn’t “wowed”.

    March 8th, 2011

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