The Score: 5 out of 10
The marketing of Catfish (2010) is ridiculous: "Don't let anyone tell you what it is." You might be able to get away with that if you were Alfred Hitchcock at the height of his career when he released a similar marketing campaign for Psycho (1960). But the demand for complete secrecy for a documentary by unestablished filmmakers—regardless of its inventiveness—is simply hyperbolic marketing.
|In Catfish, Nev Schulman Meets Megan Faccio and Her Family on Facebook|
Catfish (2010) Trailer (Misleading)
|Nev Falls Hard for Megan|
|Nev is a Photographer of Modern Dance|
|Humorous Parody of Michael Moore as a Documentarian in Team America (2004)|
|What Do You Mean? Of Course this Normally Happen on All His Dates...|
"Reality" Show: The Bachelor
|One of the Most Effective Moments from Any Horror Film|
The Blair Witch Project
|As Realistic as Cloverfield Might Feel at Times, this Clearly Never Happened|
|Fake? Real? We're Not Telling...|
|Unasked Question: "Is this ethical?"|
1. Catfish is edited together exceptionally well.
2. The subject matter is fascinating and timely. We will explain this in more detail below.
3. Some of the techniques used in the film to respresent surfing the internet, messaging people on facebook, texting friends, and traveling with the aid of GPS devices are nothing short of ingenious. In particular, the opening credit sequence of Catfish is one of the best ever made to represent the digital age.
4. The music and soundtrack for the film are delightful and we imagine some people in the future might enjoy playing the earlier segments of Catfish in the background on their computer or iPod for its atmospheric levity and beautiful music.
5. Nev Schulman is a charismatic and fun person to follow around on his adventures and it is easy for us to empathize with his emotional rollercoaster ride. But we express this with the following caveat: he occasionally does bizarre things on camera in very bad taste, like sticking his hand down into the crouch of his pants. Things like this risk alienating him with viewers.
|Healthy Skepticism Goes a Looong Way Online|
|The Blurring of the Real and Virtual|
Although, in spite of these lurid extremes, the internet also provides a venue for like-minded people to find each other and network, enables people of differing minds to discuss their differences openly, and allows anyone with an idea the opportunity to communicate that idea with the rest of the world.
Soon everyone will have to make important decisions about how they will and how they will not interact with other people online. Everyone should ponder what happens as our relationships to other humans become more defined by the constraints of technology used by social networking sites like Facebook.
If you want to become better informed, then Catfish is a remarkable film for our times. We can envision college professors assigning Catfish and discussing it with their students in class. But if you are looking for a good date movie, then you would be better off throwing this fish back in the water and checking out another film opening this weekend, Easy A, which we will review next. Catfish was filmed on a low-quality digital video format, so you will not be losing anything by skipping its theatrical run and waiting for its release on video.
If your children are actively involved in social networking online, then this film could provide you an oppportunity to teach them about the pitfalls and frequent dishonesty in online relationships. But frank discussion and expression of sexuality is present throughout the film, so you need to judge the maturity of your children for yourself.
Interview with Catfish (2010) Filmmakers
LOST - THE COMPLETE SERIES (2004-10)
EASY A (2010)