- 1 hr 23 min
Talhotblond from 2009 is a documentary film that tells the story of Thomas Montgomery, a married man from upstate New York who had an online affair with a teenage girl known only as "talhotblond." The movie explores how this relationship spun out of control and ultimately led to a tragedy that shocked the small town where Montgomery and his family lived.
The movie is structured around interviews with key players in the story, including Montgomery himself, his wife Cindy, and "talhotblond" herself, whose real name is Jessi. These interviews are intercut with archival footage and reenactments that help to flesh out the events as they unfolded. The film also includes online chat logs and emails that were exchanged between Montgomery and Jessi during their affair, which are read aloud by actors to add to the sense of nuance and complexity.
Through these various sources, the movie tells a tale of love, obsession, and deception that is both riveting and deeply disturbing. Montgomery, a middle-aged man with a beer belly and a receding hairline, first encountered Jessi in an online chatroom for the game "Age of Empires." He quickly became enamored with her, even though he knew she was only 18 and he himself was nearing 50. To impress her, he began posing as a Marine sniper and sending her pictures of a younger, more muscular man that he had culled from the internet. Over time, their conversations became increasingly sexual and Montgomery began sending Jessi explicit photos of himself.
The relationship became more and more intense, with Montgomery obsessively checking his computer for messages from Jessi and even using his work computer to chat with her during office hours. He began to imagine a future with Jessi, one in which he would leave his wife and children to be with her. However, Jessi's interest in him soon began to wane, and she started seeing someone else. When Montgomery discovered this, he felt betrayed and angry.
This is where the story takes a darker turn. Montgomery created a fake online persona - a young, handsome Marine called "Tommy" - and began chatting with Jessi again under the guise of this new person. This time, however, he pretended that "Tommy" was also courting her, and he became increasingly jealous and aggressive towards the other man in her life. At the same time, he continued to chat with Jessi as himself, feeding her lies about "Tommy" and building a complex web of deceit.
The tension between these three characters - Montgomery, Jessi, and the other man - reaches a boiling point when Montgomery discovers that the other man has sent Jessi a webcam. Montgomery becomes convinced that they have been having cybersex and that he is losing Jessi for good. In a fit of rage, he drives to the other man's workplace and shoots him dead.
The aftermath of this crime is complicated and wrenching. Montgomery is ultimately caught and tried for murder, and Jessi is revealed to be not the 18-year-old girl she claimed to be, but a middle-aged mother of three herself. The movie asks tough questions about the nature of online identity and the ways in which the internet can facilitate dangerous relationships. It is a grim cautionary tale about the importance of honesty and transparency in human interaction.
Overall, Talhotblond is a gripping and thought-provoking movie that will leave audiences pondering the darker corners of the internet and the human psyche alike.
Talhotblond is a 2009 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 23 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.