Written and Directed by Onur Tukel
Starring Sandra Oh, Anne Heche, Alicia Silverstone, Amy Hill, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Ariel Kavoussi, Craig Bierko, and Dylan Baker
The rivalry between two former college friends comes to a head when they both attend the same glamorous event.
It’s hard to not get political talking about writer/director Onur Tukel’s latest warped feature (this is a man that made a movie about a guy born without a dick) Catfight, considering that society is at a point in time where someone’s morality is judged based on where their views align. Whether it’s America with this past year’s election or the UK and its Brexit situation, friendships have literally been pointlessly and frustratingly torn apart by nothing more than a personal opinion.
Catfight is here to remind everyone that no matter which side of the extreme one resides on, they’re probably a selfish, stuck up, elitest, snobby asshole that actually has no moral compass. Both ladies in the titular film-spanning catfight are on opposite sides of the political spectrum; one benefits off of war while the other is a struggling artist creating numerous angry red-soaked portraits violently condemning the unnecessary bloodshed. The genius is that neither character is the least bit likable at all, treating maids and assistants alike around them like dirt beneath their feet. Thankfully, there is a hell of a lot of comeuppance for both (excuse my language) superiority complexed bitches, with some of it doled out as mental dark comedy that you just can’t help but laugh at. Even the fact that some of it is a running joke can be overlooked, simply because the situational humor brings the laughs every time.
Naturally, much credit has to be given to co-lead actresses Sandra Oh (American Dad regular) and veteran actress Anne Heche (Wag the Dog, Donnie Brasco), who deliver nastiness to their surrounding family and friends with pure ugliness. Ashley (Anne Heche) has an adorable high-pitched assistant that she constantly degrades for making colorful, lighthearted drawings often involving bright blue skies and cute fluffy bunnies; it’s impossible not to feel sad for her thanks to the sympathetic supporting performance from regular Tukel collaborator Ariel Kavoussi. Then there’s Veronica (Sandra Oh) who dismisses her son’s ambition at drawing, because why not, they’re rich profiting off of war and don’t need to do anything besides lounge around in a bed made of money.
Moving away from politics, the two cold-hearted college friends now adults are eventually reunited at a business party where they assault each other’s viewpoints, resulting in fists beginning to fly. Catfight has three lengthy knock em’ down drag out battles book-ending its thought-provoking plot points, and every one of them is violent to gleefully cartoonish levels. Tire irons, rocks, walls; anything goes. Catfight is like watching a 90 minute movie where Family Guy‘s Peter Griffin keeps finding himself in the bizarre yet fan-beloved brawls with a giant yellow chicken. It’s that outlandish, but the real success comes from the aftermath and consequences of every physical encounter.
Occasionally the film can feel like it is trying too hard to push political buttons with its abundance of angst (there’s a reoccurring joke about a farting machine on a TV news station that isn’t really funny and feels out of place), and as a result, a few times the experience is a little bit slow moving leaving audiences salivating for the next bloody throw-down. However, as a whole, it’s easy to admire the themes and goals of the movie, especially considering it’s all wrapped up in two mid-40s women lobbing punches at each other every 30 minutes. With that said, some of the film’s best moments come from watching these hideous narcissistic women finding themselves humbled.
Will they become better human beings in the end? You’ll just have to find out by watching Catfight. All I’ll say is that the beginning and ending of the final fight is some masterful dark comedy. To be fair, the whole thing is certainly an uproarious riot. Even more important and relevant, people might ease up and open themselves to the idea of not letting political stances dictate one’s image or getting offended by opposing viewpoints. There’s kind and evil people on both sides, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★