Catfight (2016) – Film Review
Director: Onur Tukel
Cast: Anne Heche, Sandra Oh, Alicia Silverstone
by Roger Crow
Part Trading Places, part The Duellists and 100 per cent nuts, Catfight is one of the most unusual comedies of the year.
Sandra Oh plays Veronica, a drunken trophy wife who treats the working class with contempt and can’t understand why her son has artistic leanings when he should be pursuing a wealthier vocation. Anne Heche’s Ashley is her old acquaintance, a lesbian artist/waitress whose run-in with Oh’s rich lush leads to the first of several not very convincing fights.
Veronica winds up in a coma for two years, discovers she’s penniless, husband-less and so begins the first of some unlikely twists which stretch credibility to breaking point. But the feud between the two women is really just a loose narrative thread that connects the underlying themes. Be nice to others on the way up because you’ll meet them on the way down; money is less important than kindness, and fine art is mostly nonsense.
“A strange indie black comedy”
It’s violent, but this is Tom and Jerry violence complete with often absurd sound effects. Some might see it as a political satire, but it’s really just a strange indie black comedy which probably benefits from repeat screenings.
It’s never going to reach the dizzy, surreal heights of Napoleon Dynamite, but Heche, Oh and Alicia Silverstone are terrific. The supporting cast, including Ashley’s helium-voiced lackey, help round things out.
Watch it late at night when your brain is open to its offbeat tone and this indie curio should work wonders.