Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #340 Catch Me If You Can

In Uncategorized on September 6, 2011 at 5:39 AM

Movie #340 Catch Me If You Can

(2002, US, d. Steven Spielberg)

Accomplishing one of the rarest feats a Hollywood picture can accomplish, Catch Me If You Can is a film that will live on in the anthology of great films of the 21st century for a very long time. It’s rare because usually the films to leave such a lasting memory are the dramas. The epics, the love stories, the war stories, the Oscar stories. And though this film (shamefully) did not receive a nod for any major Academy Award prizes, it is a near perfect film. It is the rare film that will live on in history and still maintain a light, comedic tone. It is the rare film that will live on in film history but still be a heist movie about a lowball con artist. It is the rare film in cinematic history in that you don’t ever feel like you’re watching something that demands your full attention, but you give it anyways – and it tricks you and it captivates you like nothing else. Catch Me If You Can is a film about low ball con artist Frank Abagnale, Jr. as he makes it into the big leagues – of heists that is. Abagnale needs no team, needs no plan, and needs no giant formulaic set-ups. He is interested in himself and only ever himself. He also tends to wing it all the time. And that’s one of the reasons we love him. For even as his crimes slowly progress into territories beyond legal boundaries, he (played wonderfully by Leonardo DiCaprio) still maintains a certain childhood naivete and innocence based in a tragic past. Spielberg and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski capture this complete life with wonderful flair, transporting us from set to set with incredible vibrancy. It is a film that challenges traditional concepts of protagonist vs antagonist as we debate to ourselves who to root for: the con artist or the cop coming his way (Tom Hanks). To conclude: Go watch this film.

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