Catfish (2010)

Now I’m totally starting up a relationship with somebody I met on Facebook.

Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman document the strange series of events that unfolds when a gifted 8-year-old artist named Abby contacts Nev, a 24-year-old photographer (and Schulman’s brother), through Facebook. After Abby sends Nev a remarkable painting based on one of his photos, Nev begins corresponding with her family — including her seductive 19-year-old sister. Realizing that something’s not quite right, Nev sets out to uncover the truth.

This film has been questioned by viewers all over the world, to whether or not this is actually real. For me, I think this is real, even though everything plays out so smoothly in a way. I can’t really talk about everything that happens in this film, because I don’t really want to give anything away, but there are moments where you wonder if it’s real, and if it’s fake, and you sort of have to make that assumption up on your own.

My favorite thing about this film is that it perfectly captures the world we live in, in the 21st century now. Our lives are controlled by Facebook, and it’s almost to the point of where we don’t know what’s real, or what’s fantasy. So instead of questioning, we go along with it all, and get crazy answers.

You may not think it now, but this film will have you on the edge of your seat sometimes, the only problem is that everything that happens, you still don’t know whether it’s a joke or not. That was my one main problem as to whether or not it was real, because every time I thought this was too good to be true, I felt like it was and they were fooling me. However, this guy Nev does seem pretty legit, and genuine, and the actions he does make you think what would you do in this situation, so he sort of makes it all seem real. And it also helps that the dude is pretty likable, and you kind of root him on as long as this film does go on.

Consensus: Catfish may have you question what’s real, and what’s not, but it’s a great film about the world we live in, and could also be used as a perfect companion piece to The Social Network.



  1. This was a very intriguing film. I felt like it was real events throughout, and the second half is genuinely tense. I expected a twist in horror territory. But it’s a great social commentary on the effects of antisocial networking, and as you say, a great companion piece to The Social Network. Definitely worth seeing.

  2. This has been a very interesting year for documentaries. Catfish (Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, 2010), I’m Still Here (Casey Affleck, 2010) and Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010) all explore and redefine the documentary format. It makes you wonder how much of a coincidence these films are. They’re so similar in format, in questioning what’s real and invented in documentaries. I wonder what it was about this year that made three different filmmakers want to explore this idea. Or rather, what made viewers question these three films. Only one has been proven fake so far, and I actually think that Catfish and Exit Through the Gift Shop are completely legit. Perhaps I’m Still Here has just made me suspicious.

  3. Good review. I wanted to believe in it but don’t. Are there parts that are real? Yes, more than I would guess, is my bet, but there is too much that is orchestrated. I think it is real until they realized the woman was a fraud then they took liberties with the story and created fictions from what they had.

    But the fun of it is that I can be totally wrong. Ya just can’t say for sure.

  4. I like what you said about it pertaining so much to our world now. I completely agree with you; I think that our world is being dictated by online interactions. Not just facebook, but eharmony, or okcupid or whatever other online dating site their are. Myspace, my yearbook, (facebook as mentioned), youtube, blogs, forums, chat rooms (if those are even still in use). . . the endlessness of online communication can be mind boggling at times. I agree with you that this is something that could definitely happen, but at the same time what is the reality of it all?
    It is a thought provoking film in that way. . . Nicely written review.

  5. I agree — I’m still not sure what to think in regards to whether or not the story is actually true. Either way though, the movie is awesome! I actually went to Nev’s Web site and saw that he had an e-mail address listed… I might contact him one day with some questions, and see if he ever responds. I just find it all so intriguing!

  6. “My favorite thing about this film is that it perfectly captures the world we live in, in the 21st century now”

    It really does – the visuals on the film as it progresses makes it a great journey. But I question how good it would be on the second watch.

  7. Thanks for the feedback on our review. You definitely took a less cynical viewpoint, although I think we both agree the film’s worth a watch.

    The wordpress account actually is just a still-messy test for a 2.0 version of our current site- (on blogger’s network). We’ll have to do some networking p’raps because I really like your reviewing style.

  8. Glad to have heard you reviewed this, I dont think i’d have thought to “Search it up” otherwise.

    Good brief review, but I really liked listening to the feedback you got. Seems like everyone felt it was a good film too.

    Hopefully one day I can earn half as many responses on a post. LOL. They dont call you “The Man” for nothin’ Dan. šŸ˜€

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