Catfish (2010)

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Catfish (2010)

Is this love, reality, fantasy, or a lie?

A documentary style film directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman focuses on Yaniv Schulman (Nev) and his online relationship with Abby a child artist who sends Nev a painting of one of his first published photographs. It all starts with a click and a Facebook request before Nev, Henry and Ariel are wrapped up in not only Abby’s online world but have also been introduced to her mother Angela, Angela’s husband Vince, and Abby’s half sister Megan.

Nev also strikes up a close relationship with Megan, a relationship that is via email, postcard, phone, text message and Facebook but never in person. This is because Megan is from Gladstone, Michigan not exactly a train ride from Nev’s home of New York City. It makes for an unconventional relationship he receives many packages from the family mostly art from Abby who now has her work showing in gallery’s he always calls to thank them and the relationship with Megan also grows into more than simply an online friendship.

We see Nev interact online with Megan’s family and friends she is a keen singer posting songs on Facebook which of course you can like and comment on. When Nev, Henry and Ariel look up one of the songs they discover all it not as it seems is Megan really singing these songs or simply posting someone else’s music? When confronted she simply says they are meant to sound alike as they are covers, not accepting her explanation they decide the only way they will find out the true is if they visit Megan in Gladstone and plan a surprise trip to find out the truth. Will it really be love at first sight or have they caught Megan in a lie that is only just unravelling? When they arrive at Megan’s home in the middle of the night they decide to just scope out the house first when they find no one is home and the house looks abandoned they wonder are they getting themselves in deeper then they expected, why did Megan say she lived there, why would she lie. The postcards Nev has sent are in the postbox is someone simply driving to the middle of nowhere to pick them up? They have so many questions regarding the family and Megan the only way they can get the answers they require is to pay an unexpected visit to Angela and the rest of the family.

Cue the unexpected finale meeting Angela and Abby all becomes apparent to Nev, Henry and Ariel as the web unfolds and we find out everything about the family and who Megan really is! This is a film with unexpected turns that keeps you guessing prepare to be reeled in by Catfish and intrigued by the ultimate deception sit back and watch the unravelling and unsettling labyrinth of lies.

A film that really is a product of our generation and begs the question is anyone really who we think they are?

“There are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes, they keep you guessin’ they keep you thinkin’ they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish, because we would be dull and boring if we didn’t have somebody nipping at our fin.”

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