Friend Request: Patrick Soto. One Mutual Friend. Confirm or Ignore? This exact situation popped up as I logged into my Facebook profile page. I have never heard of this person before but as I investigate further on their page, I learn that they graduated from Eastview in 2009. I ask around and still no one has heard of him, then I consider something that I’ve only heard rumors about. Could it be the administration’s secret way of knowing everything they can about their students? Having a spy on Facebook? This very quick processing that went on through my head is mainly due to the movie, Catfish. I question my friends on Facebook because Nev was being played by a lonely, creepy, psychotic mother.
Catfish is a documentary that was directed by Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman, and Nev Schulman. They were also characters in the film along with Angela Peirce as everyone playing themselves. This film was premiered in December 2010. This movie is based about a photographer, Nev, who meets people and starts relationships through Facebook. He doesn’t question the reliability of these new found friendships until things start to become suspicious.
This film begins with Nev being a normal person pursuing his love of photography. He was so lucky to get one of his photos published, but he seemed even happier when he received a package in the mail. This package was from Abby and it contained a painting replica of his published photo. Nev was shocked at the talent of this 8 year old and continued the connection with her and her mother Angela. He started becoming Facebook friends with her and her family and friends. Soon enough Nev started talking to Angela’s daughter Megan. They continued to talk and get closer until Nev and his friends started to have suspicions about the validity of this family’s existence. Megan’s songs were easily found on YouTube, Angela and Megan’s voice sounded remarkably familiar, and Abby’s art gallery was still up for sale. It all didn’t make sense, so they boys decided to barge in on the family’s Sunday breakfast to figure out what’s true and what is lies. What Nev finds out indeed surprises him with one lie after another.
A turning point in the movie was when Nev and Angela were standing by the fence watching Abby horseback riding. Angela realized that Nev knew all of her lies and she was just embarrassed. Nev was more understanding and sympathetic than I expected someone in that position would be. This scene played out very well and also led into the “talk” while Angela was drawing Nev. She admitted having multiple Facebook personalities, she recreated Megan’s voice, and she herself was the artist, no Abby. Angela somewhat blamed the whole situation on the idea that she was trying to recreate her life and live it the way she dreamed all along. She was drawn to Nev’s photographs of dancers because she wanted to be a dancer. Angela’s whole life changed when she married Vince and gained the responsibility of his handicapped sons. But that was her choice and is no excuse for her behavior. It somewhat explains her actions but only to a certain extent. Sending that first picture from “Abby” and ending communication after that would’ve been understandable, but continuing this relationship over eight months with multiple paintings, and text messages, and friendships must been exhausting and was completely uncalled for.
I believe that this movie was beneficial for the class, but I would not recommend it. It was good for this class because it incorporated the ideas of social networking’s impact on today’s society. It is somewhat exaggerated and unrealistic to everyday life but it proves that Facebook and social networking sites are not all good. In general, I didn’t really like the movie just in the sense that it scares me. I am the type of person that can easily trust others and this movie second guessed that whole idea. I also didn’t like that we didn’t find out where the real Megan was. It would’ve been more beneficial for the plot because she was a major part of the story and her actual personality would’ve been beneficial to the overall movie. I confirm this movie was a good choice for this certain class, but I would not recommend watching this movie with my friends on a Friday night.