Nev is a photographer from New York who had one of his photos published in a magazine. Soon thereafter, an artist by the name of Abby sends him a painting inspired by this photo and the two begin an online friendship. Abby, he learns, is only nine years old – obviously a painting prodigy!
He soon gets involved with Abby’s family; her mom, Angela, her Dad, her brother and soon strikes up a relationship with older sister, Megan. Nev carries on these relationships on Facebook all under the watchful lens of his filmmaker brother Rel and close friend Henry – both eager for a story and to keep their cameras rolling as Nev grows very fond of Megan. Meanwhile, Angela sends him Abby’s paintings. Nothing is what it seems, however, as over time, innocent questions are asked and secrets and lies begin to reveal themselves.
The good: very intriguing, suspenseful and unforgettable story. Those paintings are great!
The bad: There is nothing feel-good about watching this film.
This film was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. As the story goes, Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me fame reportedly told the filmmakers of Catfish, “Nice work of fiction, fellas.” I am paraphrasing here, but I can’t help but wonder if there is a little truth to that statement. The reason for the critique is that what happens in Catfish is unbelievable. How things play out is almost too perfect not to be scripted. Despite the comments about this film being fake, the filmmakers say this is a bonafide documentary.
Regardless of the controversy, Catfish is still a worthy watch. It’s shocking, and raises the question: do we really know who anyone is online? Do yourself a favour; don’t read any more on this film before watching it. Just check it out. You won’t be disappointed!