Thursday, 13 January 2011

Different Kettle of Fish

If you've all stopped gushing over the first shot of Andrew Garfield as Spiderman, I'd like to bring you all back to reality. Well, kind of.

Catfish seems to be one of the most hyped indie film in recent years, with a similar marketing strategy that of The Blair With Project or Donnie Darko, i.e. strong word of mouth. It came particularly to my attention when UltraCulture named it their Number 1 movie of 2010, meaning not only was The Social Network the 2nd best film of the year, but the 2nd best movie about Facebook of the year. I had to see this for myself.

To review Catfish in any such depth would probably ruin a lot of the surprises waiting in store for its unsuspecting viewers. Therefore I will simply bullet point the things I liked about it:

  • It doesn't have a genre. There are certainly components of different genres (romance, mystery, drama, horror), but the film keeps you guessing about its purpose right up until the final frame.
  • It has something to say about online communication. I would say the majority of people at one point or another have had an online friendship with someone they've never met, or even spoken to - so this film feels like its been a long time coming.
  • The film doesn't have a single pay off. It's a slow burner, but it's such a compelling and rewarding experience.
  • The acting is frickin' incredible. I'm 98% sure this is not a real documentary, but I found myself questioning that a lot.
  • The main character's voice sounds EXACTLY like Josh Schwartzman's. Seriously, it's freaky.

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