Catfish arrives in the UK as the most talked-about documentary of the year.
It’s not difficult to see what all the fuss is about. A shocking, sad and immensely engrossing look at the pitfalls of online relationships, Ariel Schulman’s film is so perfectly structured it has been accused of being too good to be true.
Fake doco or not – the director swears everything is real – Catfish hooks you from the start as Schulman follows the Facebook friendship his brother Nev, a New York photographer, has built up with Abby, a youngster who loves turning his images into paintings. As Nev grows closer to Abby and her family, he falls for her sexy sister, Megan, the two striking up a cyber relationship. Then Nev starts to notice inconsistencies in what Megan is saying, realises he is caught in a web of lies and heads to Megan’s small hometown.
To reveal what he finds would spoil the film but, suffice to say, it lives up to the tense build-up. Even if Schulman has taken some creative licence, Catfish will make you think long and hard about putting personal details on the internet.
Good for: Those who believe Facebook can’t be dangerous.
Watch the Catfish trailer here.
– Pierre de Villiers