by Ryan Pollard
Hatched from the mind of Onur Tukel, this is a film where the cat claws are unleashed, accompanied with a pipe wrench and a hammer as a pair of vapid, self-important, egotistical narcissists sink their fangs into each other in the ultimate “catfight.” These two women are on opposite sides of the spectrum with different political views and ideals, yet they share the undeniable hatred of anyone who dares to attack their image.
Sandra Oh plays Veronica, who is a drunken, caustic gold digger who’s married to a businessman that makes insane profit deals out of wars in the Middle East and is wanting her son to become more than a painter. Anne Heche plays Ashley, who’s a sarcastic/sadistic vanity painter that’s trying to express her own apocalyptic visions of war into art and not being shackled by the “false colour” of blue. In a shocking turn of events, we discover that Veronica and Ashley are former college associates who, now in their forties, meet at a party, which becomes a bitter all-out sparring match of fisticuffs that doesn’t end well. It’s the first fist-fight in the movie, and it sure isn’t the last one either, and with each fight, both characters lose something precious as a result.
Catfight is fuelled by very dark humour, a stark representation of narcissism and how it affects your personality, which all results in a film that is completely odd and strange. However, this is the kind of movie that won’t work for everyone and a lot of people will be turned off or frustrated by how strange and bizarre it can be. But if you look at it as a strange little indie flick that is trying to be satirical, then you will probably find huge pleasure and enjoyment in that.
Both Sandra Oh and Anne Heche are absolutely terrific in it and both play off the dark humour very well, and Alicia Silverstone gives a solid performance in a supporting role. There is a lot of action in this film and the violence presented here is brutal, yet satirical in its comedic use of sound effects. Those sequences are brilliantly inventive, and plaudits should go to both Oh and Heche for their level of commitment.
Overall, Catfight is an oddity in its own right; very full on, very scabrous, very black and deadpan in its comedic approach, the violence is cartoonish and brutal in equal measure, its use of music is ingenious, and the performances are strong and full of commitment. Yes, this is not the kind of movie that will appeal to everyone’s taste, and it will likely divide audiences, but if you are willing to accept it for what it is, then you might find some pleasure in its audacity.
Dir: Onur Tukel
Scr: Onur Tukel
Cast: Sandra Oh, Anne Heche, Alicia Silverstone, Amy Hill, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Ariel Kavoussi, Craig Bierko, Dylan Baker
Prd: Gigi Graff, Greg Newman, Maddie Shapiro
DOP: Zoe White
Run time: 96 mins
Catfight is out in cinemas now.