Thursday, March 9, 2017

[Review] Catfight

Sandra Oh and Anne Heche play bitter rivals in Catfight!, an absurdist comedy directed by Onur Tukel. It's a film that left me feeling indifferent, yet somehow in awe of its execution.

After a fallout as friends in college, Veronica (Oh) and Ashley (Heche) have taken very divergent paths. Veronica is a wealthy homebody in a fancy Soho apartment, while Ashley is a frustrated painter in a messy studio. When the two randomly meet again at a party (and have a bit too much wine), they reignite their feud, and by that I mean they beat each other bloody in a stairwell.

What ensues is a long-term, class-fluctuating grudge match of three rounds. It's dark. It's cynical. It's brash. And it's kind of obnoxious. But it gets points for being a wholly bizarre and unique bout. The film is a no-holds-barred farce with a lot of biting sociopolitical satire and pre-election commentary thrown in, which is sometimes too on-the-nose for its own good (there's a bit about what type of trees Hilary, Bernie, and Trump would be that instantly feels like a passé Facebook meme in movie form).

The unabashed fart jokes and cartoonishly brutal and long fight scenes are pretty funny, though. In fact, the brawls are so over-the-top that I could practically imagine WWE's Jim Ross commentating during them ("Bah Gawd she's going for the wrench!!"). Sandra Oh and Anne Heche are fully game here, even if their characters are thoroughly unlikable. Unbearable, even. The film itself is often intentionally off-putting, so it might actually make you miserable throughout the duration.

Catfight isn't exactly for everyone, but if this sparks your intrigue, it's worth taking a swing, just for the sheer spectacle.

( 6/10 )

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