In light of the recent news about Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o and the nonexistence of his girlfriend, here is my previously published review of the movie that has been referenced a lot throughout all the reports.
As teased Tuesday night after I watched it, here is my review for the wonderful (for the most part) documentary called “Catfish.” I would encourage you to watch this movie, especially if you find yourself spending a lot of time on Facebook and other versions of social media. It is hard to describe the movie without really giving away a lot, but I’ll try.
Without giving two much away, on the outset, the movie is about an amateur photographer (Yaniv Schulman) who has a picture published in a New York paper. Not long after the picture is published, he receives an oil painting of his picture from an eight year-old girl from Michigan named “Abby.” He begins corresponding with the girl via Facebook and e-mail, and also becomes friends with various members of her family, including Abby’s older sister “Megan.”The premise of the documentary, which is shot and “directed” by Yaniv’s brother Ariel Schulman and friend Henry Joost, is about how random it is that Yaniv received a painting from this little girl and the friendship that developed. After the initial painting, Abby keeps sending other paintings, as well as asking for other photos to paint. The paintings are not super great, but being that they are painted by an eight year-old, they are pretty impressive.
Again, a friendship develops between Yaniv and Megan, turning pretty serious, getting to the point that they are trying to find a time and way to meet. It is apparent that Yaniv is falling in love with this girl he never met, and they are documenting in via film. Without revealing the rest, like many other documentaries and movies, there is a surprising twist that you can probably figure out. It is pretty incredible where the story goes, and in a way, it is slightly disturbing at a point with the direction that Ariel Schilman and Joost go with the movie.
Again, I highly encourage you to see this movie. I would give it around 8.5 out of 10. It would be higher if not for the very invasive tone that the movie takes in the third act. Again, in the end, it truly is about how Facebook really becomes a large part of a lot of life for a lot of people.
Until next time…