June 17, 2012

Catfish Second Viewing

Last weekend HBO was free and Catfish was on so I decided to go ahead and dvr it. I saw the film when it came out in the theater and was pretty impressed by it. I was curious to see how it held up on a second viewing... and I found out.

Surprisingly it was better the second time around than I thought it would be. I knew nothing about it going in the first time, and that maximized the effect of the film. How would it change now that I knew the ending?

At the ending of the movie it shows some clips from the beginning after we are able to re-frame the entire situation when we find out what is really going on. This viewing for me was doing that same thing the entire way. It was still very enjoyable to watch; much better than I expected it to hold up.

The story in this film is really well told and the ending is so tragic for both sides. Nev was excited; thinking about the beginnings of a possible relationship. That obviously falls apart. Angela has found an escape from her life. The 8 months she kept everything up were probably some of the best she had for several years. She felt trapped and she found a way to pretend she was living another life for little while each day.

I know Catfish got a lot of criticism, and it definitely isn't a perfect film. It is anti-climactic. That was even more apparant the second time around. I still really like it. There is something so real about it, which may be odd because so many thought it was very contrived. Contrived or not, it conveys a sense of honesty. It shows you what real life is like. I don't know how much of the ending is real, but it manages to get its point across really well.

I'd completely forgotten why the film was called "Catfish". When Vince tells that story again explaining the title it was like I was hearing it for the first time. It seems strange Vince would say that because it didn't seem like he was privy to a lot of the stuff that was going on. There is no context for why he tells that little anecdote, and I would really like some. What prompted him to empart us with that bit of wisdom? I'm going to try to remember it this time. I think it is worth remembering. Also, it is better to be a catfish than a cod.

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