This movie is real! ¬†Let me go back for a second. ¬†There is a good chance you never heard of Catfish, but it was made famous by winning over audiences at the Sundance Film Fest and having a totally engrossing (albeit misleading) movie trailer that made its rounds virally on the Internet. ¬†It's a documentary about three young, good-lookin' hipsters from New York City that document their friend's relationship he makes with a woman over Facebook. ¬†The movie is mostly fun and light-hearted until they discover one little detail about his Facebook girlfriend that stirs up debate over her legitimacy (this doesn't give anything away). ¬†They decide to drive to her house in Michigan to see her and confront her on the issue(s). ¬†That is when the film makes a slow and disturbing turn. ¬†I cannot and will not tell you anything more about the movie ¬†The three guys have had an uphill battle convincing people that Catfish is true. ¬†That's partially because of the reality TV world we live in and the fact that they happen to look like actors you'd see in any Judd Apatow comedy. ¬†I thought Catfish was a fake documentary, much like Cloverfield or Blair Witch Project, through 80% of the film. ¬†I started to question that notion toward the end and by the last ten minutes I was sure it was real. ¬†I couldn't stop running the ending of this movie through my mind though and when I got home I researched it more. ¬†The creators admit that they reshot some scenes after they were done filming. ¬†I'm fine with that because what they reshot isn't what really matters for the story. ¬†What matters is the last act of the film and there's no way they reshot that. ¬†I wish I could talk about what happens but I can't. ¬†The only thing I can say is that they may have captured documentation of what creepy and off-putting levels mental illness can take some people to. ¬†Catfish is a slow burn. ¬†Although it moves at a fast pace that's still pretty fun, it asks patience of you as an audience member. ¬†Even when the end starts to sink into you, it won't seem that intense. ¬†But if you think about what you just saw, it can saturate your marrow and you think about it every time you go online. ¬†If it comes out that the movie is indeed a fake, it will still be enjoyable and the boys will earn my respect for their trickery. ¬†But as it stands right now, Catfish is a real documentary about real people going through real events that is a cautionary tale about online use. ¬†It doesn't show you anybody you didn't already know existed, but actually seeing it makes you feel sad and perplexed. ¬†It might have done for Facebook what Psycho did for taking showers.
Catfish (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: A-