Monday, December 9, 2013

12 Movies of Christmas: Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of 12 Movies of Christmas. For today's episode, I will review another film that isn't about Christmas, nor normally aired around Christmastime, but in certain scenes, it is set around Christmastime. So, let's begin the chase as I review the Steven Spielberg crime caper Catch Me If You Can.

                       Catch Me If You Can is based on a true story about Frank Abagnale, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) who when he was in high school and is parents were getting divorced, ran away from home and lived live as a con man. He posed as a pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer, and would forge checks. On this tail was FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) who would pursue him until he is finally caught.

                        What I Liked About It:
                       One thing that I liked was the stylish direction by Steven Spielberg. Spielberg really gives the film on old-style feel and I loved its nostalgic vibe. Not only that, but some of the best scenes were the ones with songs that fit into each scene. For example, in one scene where the FBI is trying to catch Frank and he flies away on his plane, the song "Come Fly With Me" plays and that gave the scene a bit of suspense because of how the FBI is really on Frank's tail. Another one that I liked was towards the end, at Christmastime, where Frank is standing outside his mother's house and it's snowing outside, it's very calm and the song "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire" is playing. Plus, I liked one scene where Frank and Carl are talking on the phone and when Frank says he called to apologize, Carl denies it and as he talks on the phone, the camera pans into is mouth and he says "You have no one else to call" which sums up how alone Frank is, then Frank immediately hangs up. I liked the way that scene was directed.

                      I also liked the acting from the cast as well. Leonardo DiCaprio, as always, does a fantastic job as Frank Abagnale, the young con man who is charismatic yet conniving and is even anxious. Tom Hanks is also very good as Carl, but like Leonardo DiCaprio, it's never a surprise to see Hanks give a fantastic performance. As we all know, those two are some of the best actors working today. But one actor I'd like to talk about is Christopher Walken. He has a slightly smaller role as Frank Abagnale, Sr., but he nails it. It's a very nuanced and subtle performance of a father who is somewhat similar to his son and may have been an inspiration for him, but he is still very devoted and loving to his son. Another thing about the film that I thought was pretty near was how it wasn't just about a criminal being chased around most of his life, but it also touches themes on father-son relationships, broken family, and loneliness as well, as Frank uses some tricks he learned from his father to lie his way through life, runs away to escape his parents' divorce, and of course becomes lonely as he is moving from place to place.

                      What I Didn't Like About It:

                     Overall, Catch Me If You Can is a crime caper done with flare and features magnificent performances from the cast. It's not only entertaining but it also touches on very personal themes and is a film not to run away from. Highly recommended, and because their are scenes set on Christmas, I would say watch it around Christmastime!

Rating: 5/5