Film Review: Catfight

With Catfight, writer-director Onur Tukel mixes various types of humour to create amusing picture. The film works best in its satirising of American culture.

Veronica is a wealthy housewife in New York. Ashley is a struggling artist, who is working at a waitress at a party attended by Veronica. When the two former college friends meet, it is the start of an epic battle…

Onur Tukel’s Catfight is an interesting prospect. From the premise, the film is about a rivalry between two former friends that gets out of hand. However, in actuality the film offers more than this. Whilst there are a number of fight scenes, the film functions beyond a story about rivalry.

The film works on a number of levels. As a revenge picture, it offers some satisfaction. However, in its satirising of American culture and politics, the film really shines. The television show is a great device to deliver exposition and show passage of time. Violence in the film is peculiar mix of cartoon-like and brutal. There is no hair pulling here; the punches are raw and impactful in the fight scenes. There are a couple of standout scenes in Catfight, including the gallery sequence and baby shower. These are successful because they are ridiculous but believable.

There is an increasing tinge of sadness and futility, which works well given preoccupation with war and defence industry. This seems to be the strongest theme in the film. It is one that grows as the narrative progresses. The film’s minor characters drawn in broad strokes, but work well in this context. Particularly memorable are Sally and the Art Collector.

Sandra Oh and Anne Heche both deliver convincing performances. They are ably assisted by Alicia Silverstone and Ariel Kavoussi. It is most refreshing to watch a female-centric film where the crux does not revolve around male love interests. Catfight is a very entertaining watch.

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