I am usually behind the times so it shouldn't surprise you that I am reviewing a movie that came out a couple years ago. When the recent events surrounding Manti Te'o and his mystery girlfriend came up in the news, I heard several people debating if it was possible to deceive someone in an online relationship to that extent. One of the people I heard talking about this simply said "Just rent the movie Catfish and you will see for yourself."
I had not heard of this movie before but those comments piqued my interest and I decided to rent it. Catfish is a documentary style film about a photographer in New York named Nev Schulman who receives a painting of one of his photographs. The gift was created by an 8 year old artist living in Michigan who really liked his work. Over time she continues to send him additional works and he develops a friendship over the phone and via Internet with her and her mother and sister. Over the course of several months Nev starts to develop more of a friendship with the older sister who is an attractive young woman shown to the right according to her Facebook account.
After some time Nev and his roommates begin to suspect something is not right with the relationship when they discover several inconsistencies with the mysterious girl's story. They end up travelling to Michigan while documenting the experience to find out what is going on.
When they arrive, the mother of the young artist is very surprised to see them and eventually introduces them to her 8 year old daughter who they soon determine is not an artist at all. After several hours and multiple excuses of not being able to get them in touch with the daughter Nev has developed a relationship with, they realize that she does not exist.
This movie was very interesting but I was as suspicious of the film makers as they were of their catfish. What are the odds that they just happened to be filming a documentary about their friend just as this happened? At any rate, it was an interesting show and it makes you think twice about trusting online friends you have never met in person. I give Catfish 7.2 stars.