Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Catfish”

(Universal Pictures. 1 hour, 45 minutes. Rated PG-13 for some sexual references. Directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost.) Yaniv ‘Nev’ Schulman, Ariel ‘Rel’ Schulman, Henry Joost.

Nev, a 20-something photographer in New York, befriends a young girl on Facebook who likes to paint. As he meets more of the girl’s family online, he begins to wonder who exactly he’s been talking to this whole time. A fascinating, ramshackle documentary about our burgeoning digital culture.

I’ll focus on the nuts-and-bolts of the film, because any more talk about the narrative might give something away, which is a grave disservice. Going in fresh is the best thing you can do. Also, ignore the commercials, as they make it sound like a horror movie (it really isn’t). The trio are amiable enough, and the presentation is intriguing, mixing hand-held camerawork with YouTube clips, Facebook closeups and Google Earth flyovers. Their motivations may be somewhat questionable and a tad voyeuristic, but the story they tell is worthwhile and ends on a good note. A further discussion of identity in the Internet age might have been nice, but there’s no reason you can’t start your own. There’s always a question of veracity when it comes to documentaries, and I really want this one to be real, because if it is, it’s pretty fascinating. I recommend it.