I originally wanted to see this film as a companion piece to the fantastically engrossing The Social Network. In many ways it is – it shows us that in the wake of the social media phenomenon which is Facebook the landscape of who we are what we want people to think about us and who we interact with is forever changed.
In this respect Catfish is a fascinating watch. I think that coupled with a rather raucous audience that went along with the film in a rather tongue in cheek fashion made it a pleasant viewing experience. When we saw something that was like “huh?” we laughed and offered on the spot commentary. Normally this is not the type of movie going experience I take pleasure in but in this instance it worked.
One criticism levied against the documentary was that many feel that the film exploited certain parties involved in the narrative. That part of the story does not bother me too much only because for this kind of doc you need to get permissions and clearances. I guess the counter can be made if the parties involved were somewhat unwitting (much in the way that some reality show folks may be blissfully ignorant to what lies ahead). I do think this is a valid point but honestly my initial reaction was to have no pity. It’s cold I know but that was my initial primal response.
In the end, it has a lovely takeaway and for most of the story does make one question about what this internet age has wrought.