Friday, September 24, 2010

Catfish- He said (Spoiler free)

Documentaries and first person camera movies seem to be the hot ticket this year. This makes sense, given our obsessive nature as a culture to document every aspect of our lives in as many mediums as possible. Earlier this year, we had Exit Through The Gift Shop, a documentary about street art that might or might not have been fabricated in order to make a meta-commentary about the state of modern art. As recently as last week, we had I’m Still Here, the Joaquin Phoenix documentary, that turned out to be false. Now we have Catfish. The story of people trying to make connections over the Internet is not necessarily original. The way that it’s presented here, the story becomes really interesting look at relationships over the Internet. The validity of this movie is in question, due to what some say is the almost scripted nature of the mystery. But unlike I’m Still Here, the message of this movie is not hindered by its validity.

I loved the way that this movie was shot, with the production values being very cheap. Nev, the main character, is a very likable dude living in New York as an artsy photographer just minding his own business. When Abby starts to send him paintings of his work, he becomes rather attached to the girl’s family. Not sure if his empathy is real, but I find it interesting how much he likes this family, just from their online presence. When it comes to talking to the older sister, Megan, who Nev develops a crush on, the movie takes an accelerated pace. We see Nev talk to Megan on the phone, and he’s talking about how much he likes her. You laugh at Nev, but I’m sure you’ve met people that have thought that they’ve made a “real” connection over the Internet. And this is where the movie gets interesting.

If it were to have many flaws is that the story itself has no dramatic tension or pull, even when it gets at its most tense, you never get a sense of true conflict. This is just a series of events happening, which some people might find boring.

I can’t really spoil anything, which is making this terribly hard to write, but after a certain point the movie takes a turn for the weird. It’s not scary like the trailers make it out to be. But I believe that it is making an important statement about how we develop relationships in this day and age. Depending on your point of view, it will take on to a whole different meaning. I’m rather conflicted on it, seeing as the reason I’m writing this is because of relationships and friends I’ve made over twitter. Not sure what this says about me, but it will be different for everyone, which I believe is the greatest strength of this movie.

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