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Blast from the Past Movie Review – “Catfish” (2010)

August 8, 2011
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People tend to think that my Blast from the Past reviews are focusing on older films, but the point about the past is that…it’s the past. So, even though this movie is pretty new, by just a year, it’s still from the past, and it’s something I’ve been meaning to see, but never got the chance to…until now.

So, is it fiction? Or, is it real? The story of “Catfish” is definitely a controversial one. Many believe that the events that conspire in this movie are in fact real, and then there are some, like myself who’re skeptical if this movie is truth base at all. The movie itself is about obsession, love, art, mystery, and self-discovery. NYC Filmmakers, Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost sensed an interesting story unfolding as they began to film the life of Ariel’s photography brother, Nev, when Nev has started pen pal-ing this little girl, a young artist in the making by the name of Abby, and subsequently falling in, what appears to be, deep love for the girls older sister, Megan. The thing is, Nev has never met Megan or Abby, he’s only connected to her through Facebook. After a while, Nev has the chance to talk to Abby over the phone, he also speaks to her mom, and other family members and finally Megan. So, there is a nice bond between two sets of strangers. He calls, chats, and texts Megan constanly. It comes to a point where they address each in their messages as “babe”.

The movie tends to ask us the obvious, should these social networking sites really be the answers to our real life? Could it be everything we hoped for and then some? Well, sites like Facebook are good for keeping in touch with close friends, families, collegues, etc. But, I can’t see it being useful as a dating site, even though people seem to use it for that reason far too often these days. This movie is proof (if it is indeed valid) that not everything you think you see, is what it’s all cracked out to be. Nev, is so stricken by the pictures of Megan on her Facebook, he feels that he is destined to be with her. Her beauty is striking, but the mystery of not meeting her in person is somewhat of a majoy emotional rush that Nev has never felt before.

Nev, Henry, & Ariel take a road trip to finally visit Megan, Abby, and the family in rural Michigan. Critics have said that the last 20-30 minutes is a “thriller”, I have to say it’s more of an emotional thriller, because once the big revelation unfolds, it’s a shock yes, and if I were Nev, my mind would be spinning in an emotional hurricane too, but something about it has a certain beauty to it. If what we see is at all real, then it’s quite poetic. Tragic, but poetic non the less.

Although, the movie itself just goes off the deep end, and just comes off as preachy at the end, and I tend to dislike that with documentaries, but that’s just movie. The concept of the movie if really good, and the people are amusing to watch, but again, if this was real, I don’t see it being such a big deal that it had to be made into a feature. If anything, if this was real, it’s just too damned creepy to see people this obsessive. Now, if the movie was a narrative, then I’d give it a whole new grounds of respect, because IF this were a narrative, than this was some damn good writing.

GRADE: C+

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