The rants and raves of a teenage cinephile who is just a little bit obsessed with Catherine O'Hara and Hayao Miyazaki.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Some Invisible Ramblings on "Catfish"
Because I'm trying to support the hype, I'm writing the following in white! So only highlight it and read it if you've seen the movie or you don't really care about it being spoiled for you.
So here we go. This was a really engrossing movie, and it definitely lives up to the hype. Not knowing anything about it was truly part of the movie's success - watching the events unfold as they did was simply mesmerizing. Just when you think you know where the movie is going, it totally switches around on you and something completely new happens.
And perhaps the most stunning accomplishment of "Catfish" is its expansive emotional range. There are moments of genuine sadness, and moments that are simply hysterically funny. And when we finally meet Angela, and see the life she's living and the digital life that she's created for herself, we're confronted with so many gut reactions that we almost feel as though we ourselves spent 8 months in a relationship that probably did not really exist.
Of course, the film could have taken the easy way out and portrayed Angela as a freak, or a weirdo, but instead, even though her actions are seriously socially reprehensible, the film treats her with so much sympathy that we truly realize the kind of desperation that she feels and her actual motivation for doing what she did.
There's definitely the doubt as to whether or not it's real. But in my opinion, it would still be a great film either way. If it's real (which I do believe it is), then it's an extremely well-crafted, entertaining, thought provoking documentary that is truly timely. If it's fake, it's marvelously acted, intelligently written, and brilliantly marketed (and it still asks the important questions).
So maybe the film succeeds more on its story than its merits of filmmaking, but it was definitely worth all the hype and is the perfect documentary for our times. It's actually just mind-blowing and it'ss been stuck with me ever since I saw it.