Movie #159 Catfish
(2010, US, d. Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman)
This film will make me question its authenticity till the day I die. Is it a documentary? Is it scripted? Is it a little bit of both? Whatever the case may be, the filmmakers here have put together one of the most compelling films of 2010, as well as – now – one of my favorite movies of all time. The movie is “about” a guy named Rev (playing himself) who begins an online relationship through Facebook with a family in Michigan. I don’t want to give too much of the film away, since the best part of watching it is experiencing the surprises, but I’ll go as far as to say that when he begins investigating, nothing checks out until finally, he and his friends decide to take a trip up to Michigan. But the best part of the film is that what begins as almost a sort of thriller turns into a highly touching character study. But these comments are all assuming that the film was scripted. If it wasn’t, then…woah. If it wasn’t, then these filmmakers put almost as much thought and preparation into this project as Christopher Nolan with Inception. But regardless of its authenticity, one of the best aspects of this film is what the filmmakers are saying on press tours: “The film is 100% real”. In my opinion, this is one of the most original ways to get an audience into a protagonist’s shoes. For not only is the story being told on screen about a guy who is forced to take things he thought to be real and doubt them, but suddenly the film plays on a totally different level: We, too, doubt what we see. And we, too, are forced to question.