WARNING: Full spoilers for Catfish. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, go and do so. I recommend it.
I just finished watching Catfish: The Movie. Previously, I had seen a couple of episodes of the TV show, which is entertaining in more of a shock value way than the movie is. It did, however, get me to watch the movie, albeit five years after everyone else.
What I found most interesting about the movie is not the web of lies Angela had created, but more the motivation behind it. I thought that the life she created gave such a clear glimpse into Angela’s soul. She’s middle-aged, with a lot of family commitments, and is still hanging on to her dreams from her youth.
It struck me as being almost universal. When you’re completely anonymous, or at least believe you are, on the Internet, that you may well be tapping directly into the core of yourself.
Angela’s lies aren’t that revealing on face value. She creates a life of artistic expression and excitement. Abby has art shows and a gallery. Megan can play multiple instruments. It’s when you link them together that you see a pattern emerging – a pattern of potential and youth. Angela says this herself when she’s talking to Nev. She says that she threw away her dancing career in order to have fun.
Her boyfriend Vince says that when they talk, he tells her that you can’t have everything. You have to decide what you really want and go for it. It just seemed to me like Angela was revealing what she really wanted through her lies.
Everyone wonders what might have been. I got married at twenty-two and had kids at twenty-three. I’d be lying if I said I’d never wondered what my life might have been like without my family. However, I don’t feel compelled to go online and create another life of lies. I’m happy with my decisions and just want to make the most of my life going forward.
The people who do create alternative lives online, they seem to be revealing something of who they really want to be. Whatever that is, they seem to feel like they can’t get any taste of that in real life. It’s understandable. If you have a family and commitments, you can’t just abandon them. You can slowly mold your life, though. You can change one thing at a time until you get where you want to go.
Catfish: The Movie affected me. It struck a chord I wasn’t expecting. In my opinion, it showed a deep part of someone’s soul and you can’t ask more from a documentary than that.
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