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Review Catfish (2010): Real or fake?

genre: documentary

Real or fake? That seems to be the issue for most who have watched this documentary. And to be honest that doesn't really matter that much, at least to me. Let me explain why. I went in viewing Catfish to dismiss it as yet another shaky hand cam type movie with little or no substance at all. I already read about the big reveal or twist so was not expecting anything. But yes, even knowing the outcome I have to say Catfish did surprise me. A lot of what was happening to the character Yaniv or Nev was recognizable. More so because I was intrigued and touched by this other character who plays a pivotal role into all this. I read some complaints from people that felt deceived or tricked after having seen the trailer. Which I do understand since the trailer is hinting to an event similar in movies like Paranormal Activity. (I disliked that movie for a number of reasons but will not go into that now). So, to be absolutely clear Catfish is not about the supernatural or some creepy murderer. It is nothing like that. Although if they hadn't made the trailer in this way I doubt it would have generated as much appeal to some. For me Catfish was far more appealing and interesting since it does offer an interesting glimpse into the world of social networking and the people that are part of it. However I do think this documentary will make more sense to people who are active on social networks like Facebook and penpal sites. For outsiders it will be difficult to relate to since they would first have to learn the mechanics and appeal of something like Facebook. It is crucial to know how real an online relationship can become without ever having met in person. Although there is one powerful scene that (real or fake) must have some effect on you. Unless you are alien or detached or whatever condition you suffer from. Certainly worth watching!

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