Ariel Schulman: Why?
Yaniv Schulman: Because you're catching me when I don't want to talk about things.
Ariel Schulman: How should we do it?
Yaniv Schulman: Set it up, organize a time with me, put together some materials, emails, we'll get the Facebook conversations printed out and we'll really talk about it.
These are the opening lines from the 2010 documentary, Catfish, starring Yaniv Schulman, Ariel Schulman, and Henry Joost as themselves. It tells the suspenseful and enthralling story of Yaniv’s romance with a girl he meets through Facebook. This documentary was directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost and filmed in their apartment along with various other locations around the Midwest. The film was produced by Rogue Pictures and had a limited release in theaters on September 17, 2010.
Yaniv, who also goes by Nev, is a photographer who lives with the other two main characters, Henry and Ariel, in an apartment in Manhattan. The story begins with Nev getting a photo published in a newspaper and then receiving a painting of the photo in the mail from a little girl in Michigan named Abby. After corresponding with Abby and her mother through Facebook and on the phone, Nev gets a friend request from Abby’s older sister, Megan. This begins an online relationship between the two. Their romance goes well for a while, until things begin to take an unsettling twist.
There were two things that really separated this film from being a run-of-the-mill documentary: the cinematography and the soundtrack. The cinematography was phenomenal in my opinion. I like how they ordered the movie, starting it with a scene that was partway through the story and then going back to the beginning. I especially loved how they showed the Facebook conversations and pictures. The soundtrack was also incredible. While watching the movie I kept thinking how good the music is, which is not something I usually notice in movies. The music was very unique and it always fit the scene perfectly. Towards the end, it gave the movie a bit of a dreamy quality, which I believe was a perfect way to end it.
I would definitely give this film a “thumbs up.” Any fan of suspense and drama will thoroughly enjoy seeing this movie. The music, the filming, the characters- all of it was both riveting and intriguing. It is incredible how a real-life documentary could become such a fascinating work of movie magic. It is sometimes hard to believe the story is real while watching, but that just makes it all the more captivating. This is truly what I would call a work of art. I would highly recommend this film.