Over the weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to check out the film Catfish. Before you read any further, it is very hard to talk about this film without spoiling things. Therefore, I am pre-warning you. This review has some minor spoilers in it. For those of you who haven’t seen, check it out. Very interesting flick. For those of you hoping for the verbal swooning of Nate, get ready to have your world rocked.
First and foremost, I thought Catfish was a horror flick, or at least a thriller. I mean the trailer clips along like a happy love story and then promises the last 40 minutes will blow you away! It’s riveting, it plays creepy music, and I’m not going to lie, I kind of thought someone may wind up dead. For a minute, I thought maybe the film was something uber-creepy like a live action version of The Human Centipede; wouldn’t that get the horror geeks excited! Alas, no, Catfish is none of these things; however it does weave a very twisted tale and presents you with a nice little twist.
As a viewer you can’t help but find yourself enjoying watching Nev on screen. His is a likeable person who seems to have a genuinely good heart. Again, thinking this was creepy going into it, I kind of had a fear that he was going to wind up stalking a 9 year old, but I digress. Nev takes the time to connect on the social network with a little girl who is an aspiring artist. Impressed by her work he begins to correspond with her and send her encouraging words. This eventually leads to him meeting the entire family, including a older sister that Nev starts to think just might be the love of his life. Problem is, something just doesn’t seem right and Nev and his friends decide to dig up the truth rather than just walk away.
As we follow Nev and his friends as they are filming their findings, we end up getting to know Nev a little more up close and personal. Nev reveals some very graphic text messages that he and his “online girlfriend” share, and you can’t help but chuckle at the the embarrassment he shows as he shares them . However, at other times, his embarrassing moments don’t seem that embarrassing to Nev. During a scene in a hotel room, we see a scene where Nev is talking with his friends about the whole situation. Stripped down to his underwear, we find out that A.) Nev may be a direct descendant of a long line of Werewolves based on the amount of chest hair he sports, and B.) I’m pretty sure Nev could be featured in one of those bad taste, Miller Light Ads (see video on the side). Nev tries to fashionably sport a lower back tattoo otherwise known as “a tramp stamp.” I’m not going to lie, I always kind of thought those were reserved for sorority girls who will be future tramp stamp grannies with tattoo regret. It turns out, Nev chose to join them on this adventure. As I had this shocking revelation, I realized I had to share with my readers, but that meant screen capturing the scene. Let me describe an awkward conversation: It goes something like this…”Hey, when we are done watching that, can I put it in my laptop and screen capture that guy in his underwear?…ummm…yeah….thanks.”
Despite my now deeper rooted reservations on the sanity and normal-ness of Nev, I still somehow find him to be a great genuine character. Following the film’s reveal, the big question every one asks is if this is a hoax. The film presents itself as true, and the makers of the film have always said every bit of it is indeed true. The skeptics of the world love to debate if the whole thing is one big lie. The film is very conceivable, and it very well could be a true account, yet also screams hoax. I ended up watching one of the special features on the DVD where the film makers were asked about the film. Oddly enough this seemed to put it to rest for me. I actually started to believe that it was real. Nev seems genuinely embarrassed that he got duped at least in some regard. I suppose he could be the world’s greatest actor as well, but I believed it.
I left Catfish wanting to watch it again days later. Having sent it back to the magical DVD by mail store in the sky that shall go un-named until they buy Nate Grenbeck ad space, I longed for its return to my DVD player. I have a feeling Catfish is going to end up in my DVD collection. It’s a film with a funny name, and seems to be taking you one direction before taking a hard right into oddity land. It speak volumes to the “facebook company” you keep and asks just how well you know all 10 trillion of your social network friends. It’s like the “true” story of facebook, and oddly enough kind of what I thought a facebook movie would be when I first heard Hollywood rumblings years ago of the now famous David Fincher film, The Social Network. Go pick up a copy of Catfish and give it a try.
And by all means…let’s discuss this flick. That’s what blog comments are for! (and of course to spoil things for people who read what they shouldn’t be. Spoil it up and talk about it folks!