Catfish

Catfish is a documentary about two people and their unlikely friendship through the social network site known as Facebook.  Nev Schulman is a photographer who works in New York.  He forms an unlikely friendship with a girl named Abby who saw one of his photos on the Internet.  Nev spent time messaging Abby photos that she would then turn into paintings.  After knowing Abby for awhile, Nev is introduced to Abby’s older sister Megan who is a singer/songwriter.  The two develop a close relationship through phone conversations and time on Facebook.  The romance definitely seems to be blooming for Megan and Nev until Nev discovers that the songs Megan sent him were from other artists and that she was trying to pass them off as her own.  Nev becomes suspicious and tries, at least initially, to hear Megan’s side of the story and ask why she would lie to him.  The response Nev receives doesn’t quell either his worries or his frustration and he decides to actually confront her by going to her town.

When I first saw the trailer for this film I was extremely tense trying to figure out what truths Nev Schuluman and his camera crew would discover when they confronted Megan on her lies.  This film is the opposite of The Social Network in that Facebook isn’t being used for personal gain but rather to gain freedom from the claustrophobic lifestyle someone lives.  I like the pacing of this film and the path of discovery Nev and his friends are put on but, once the truth is revealed the rest of the film is very anti climatic.  We know that Nev has learned the truth about the lies that were told to him and beyond that what we really care about is how did he decided to handle learning the truth.  How was Megan effected by the experience and did she truly change after Nev and his friends left her Michigan town?  The answers to those questions are reserved for the footer notes of the film.  This film left me feeling unsatisfied.  This film had an opportunity to really showcase the frailties of human emotion when using technology as a means of communication, but the overall story missed the mark slightly.  If you hate the idea of The Social Network aka “the Facebook movie” this is a safer equally thought provoking option.

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