In this case, the idea that a documentary may not be exactly what it claims simply mirrors the subject matter; the idea that Facebook and other social networks aren't venues of strict truth. As readers here well know, I steadfastly believe that cinema reaches an apex of quality when form echoes content, and so -- even if artificial to some extent -- Catfish passes that test. The film's ultimately questionable form echoes the questionable content of Megan, Angela and Abby's online, electronic lives.
|Romance via Photoshop.|
Kathryn and I watched this documentary the other night and we were both perched on the edge of our seats throughout. We were thirsty, but couldn't be roused from the sofa even to get a glass of water. The movie -- at 89 minutes or so -- feels like about five minutes in duration. It's literally that compelling. It draws you in. You feel like you're typing on the keyboard yourself, or more aptly, looking over Yaniv's shoulder as he types.
To quote Yaniv, this movie may really "freak you out," or it may, unexpectedly, rouse in you deep feelings of...sympathy.
And the caution in the cautionary tale? The Internet is life all right, only it is life Photoshopped.
Best to keep that in mind.