While The Social Network focused on the formation and business wrangling involving Facebook, another well-reviewed (and little known) 2010 movie examined the ramifications of a digital society. In Catfish, one young man begins to fall in love with a woman he more or less meets through Facebook... but then begins to question whether she and the rest of her family even exists.
IMDB lists Catfish as a documentary, though there has been plenty of controversy over how real the movie is. The filmmakers continue to insist that everything that happens in the movie is true; I watched the movie assuming it was a thriller. It's definitely not a thriller - but I'm still not convinced it's real, either.
Regardless, Catfish is a mesmerizing movie. Beautifully filmed and consistently intriguing, the picture continues to reel you in with its [allegedly true life] mystery into the existence, or lack thereof, of its Facebook subjects. It is a very well done picture.
Just know what to expect. The marketing department pitched the film to audiences as a documentary thriller - or, in other words, a thriller. The movie itself appears to be building to something suspenseful, a horrifying truth that will threaten the lead characters.
Catfish isn't that movie.
For me, the final act was a letdown, but that's because I was expecting it to turn into a thriller or even a horror movie. The movie ends much more realistically and calmly than I would have thought, which was exactly the point - but a point I didn't see coming.
Frankly, Catfish is a bit too glossy and perfect to be a real documentary. I'd be shocked if it is. Minute details like the mentally disabled twins are possible but just too strange to be believable.
Catfish is a good movie, but I can't get past the disappointment I had toward the third act. Others who have a better sense of what the movie really is won't have the same reaction, however. Catfish is one of the more unique movies of 2010 - recommended.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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