Catfight: Violent Social Commentary & Fisticuffs Fun

Catfight
Go on, my son!

A film plug today as this is possibly the movie we’ve enjoyed the most in 2017 (so far, anyway). Catfight certainly is an odd one, but it’s all the more enjoyable for its carefree avoidance of Hollywood tropes. It’s about two women, they have a bit of a tiff, and then a series of extremely violent incidents take place over the course of the narrative, lifted along by an intelligent script and unexpectedly brilliant, heartfelt performances.

It was released in late 2016 and seemed to slip under the radar for most people, being an indie flick. It’s also pretty unusual, which often forces cinema-goers to steer well clear (and critics to get on their high horses). It’s a shame, as watching two glamorous, 40-something ladies beating the crap out of each other, followed by heaping dollops of black humour, social commentary, and satire, make for one highly enjoyable experience.

Catfight

What’s going on here then? Veronica (Sandra Oh) is a wealthy trophy wife who has had an easy time of it, but has become quite obnoxious with her sneering attitude of other people (even dismissing her son’s interest in art). However, all is not well as her marriage appears to be falling apart – fuelled by her drinking habits.

At a party, she’s reunited with the socially awkward Ashley (Anne Heche), who is an obscure artist attempting to make it with some disturbing painting themes (typically involving red, violence, and decapitated sperm). Although initially more likeable than Veronica, Ashley is far from perfect, resorting to bullying her twee assistant Sally whenever she becomes frustrated.

Former college friends, the two dig up old relationship issues and end up having a bone-crunching fight which leaves Veronica in a coma for two years. This sets up much of the social commentary, with Oh putting in an excellent performance as her character, who loses all her wealth whilst unconscious, embraces humility and becomes a much more likeable person in the process.

With a witty script and fun performances (including a rare appearance from the once ever-present Alicia Silverstone), one real draw here remains with the visceral fights which you can live through vicariously without messing your hair up – indeed, the set pieces with the fights reminded us of Bottom. Altogether, then, this is likely to become a cult hit! So get it watched – total 4/5 from us, yo.

Critical Support

Mark Kermode, of the Church of Wittertainment, put us on to this film so this is a nod to the UK’s leading film critic. This section here is a nod to the Kermode and Mayo Film Review show, which runs every Friday for a few hours to round up the week’s movie releases. It’s got a massive following and, if you want a fun new podcast to add to your list, get this one and become a member of the Church. It’s totally bodacious, dude.

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