- 1 hr 26 min
Catfish is a 2010 documentary-style film directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, following the story of Nev Schulman, a photographer from New York City. The movie starts by introducing Nev as a friendly, likeable guy in his mid-20s who becomes intrigued by a young girl named Abby, an 8-year-old artist from rural Michigan who contacts him on Facebook, requesting permission to use one of his photographs as a drawing.
The two hit it off instantly, and Nev begins communicating with Abby's family, including her mother Angela, a beautiful and charming, yet somewhat troubled woman. Soon, Nev is captivated not only by Abby's talent but also by the family's warmth and affection. He begins to exchange messages with Angela online, and their relationship gradually develops into something beyond just artist-client communication.
As Nev becomes increasingly involved with Angela, he starts to sense some inconsistencies in her stories about her life and family. Suspecting that something is not right, he and his friends set out on a road trip to Michigan to uncover the truth about Abby, her family, and the growing web of lies and fabrications surrounding them.
What starts as an innocent, heartwarming story of a young girl's artistic talent slowly morphs into a psychological thriller, as Nev and his friends uncover a series of shocking secrets and revelations about the people they thought they knew. While the plot unfolds, the audience is drawn into a deeply personal and emotional journey, pondering questions about the nature of trust, authenticity, and identity in the digital age.
Catfish is a raw, visceral, and at times unsettling film that explores the blurry line between truth and fiction in an increasingly connected world, where people can create and manipulate their online personas with ease. The documentary's use of handheld cameras, found footage, and online communication tools imbue it with a sense of immediacy and realism, drawing the viewer into the unfolding investigation with visceral intensity.
Through Nev's journey, the audience becomes attuned to the nuances of online communication, vulnerability, and self-representation, and the ways in which the internet can both connect and deceive us. The film is both a meditation on the intricacies of human relationships, and a warning about the dangers of digital communication, where the line between reality and illusion can blur so easily.
One of the remarkable things about Catfish is its ability to keep the viewer guessing until the very end. The film builds tension gradually, layering one revelation on top of another, until the truth is finally revealed in a dramatic conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.
Ultimately, Catfish is a poignant, emotionally charged, and thought-provoking film that forces us to confront some uncomfortable truths about the nature of human connection and interactions in the digital age. Whether you love or hate social media, this film is a must-see for anyone interested in the human psyche and the ever-shifting landscape of communication and relationships.
Catfish is a 2010 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 65.