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Claws, Brick, Fangs, Wrench, . . .

8/10
Author: raven-64-833785 from Miami
10 October 2016

Cat claws are joined by rock, brick, hammer, wrench, tire iron and more as a pair of self-important and toxic narcissists sink their fangs into each other. Ashley and Veronica are from opposite sides of the political spectrum yet both share an unquenchable hatred for anyone who attacks their image. Veronica (Sandra Oh) is a caustic and drunken gold digger married to a businessman making insane profits from a war in the Middle East. She encourages her son to be anything other than a useless artist. Ashley (Anne Heche) is a sadistic painter whose apocalyptic view of war tolerates no blasphemies, including and not limited to the "false color" blue. Her partner is a clueless snob who, like herself, rejects anything that isn't a carbon copy of her own fluctuating views. Ashley and Veronica are former college acquaintances, now in their forties, who meet at a party. Soon they enter into a bitter, knock- down and bone- crushing brawl in the stairwell. This won't be the only fight. In their all-consuming rivalry they risk losing everything. The heat of a fire consumes all the fuel and air before it dies.

Catfight is fueled by dark humor and a realistic portrayal of narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissists believe that money, success and power entitles them to treat others like trash. Yet narcissists are useful to the world because they see through all its fallacies (the greatest sinners make the best preachers). Ashley and Veronica are self-absorbed, have no empathy for others and treat their assistants more like servants and machines than persons. They are too broken to reveal their wounds to others though, which is why they never truly heal.

The violence in Catfight is really brutal and vastly different from other cinematic fight scenes. The female on female fighting is just one aspect that makes the fight scenes different. Other nuances include creative brawling tools and settings, compelling themes and characters, and great acting. Anne Heche and Sandra Oh are versatile, capable actors that are adept at this type of satire. Catfight's director, in the question and answer session after the film, said that Anne and Sandra had different, but equally effective, styles of preparing for the scenes. One actor was methodical in planning and preparation, and the other was energized by each passing moment. World premiere seen at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

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It's a hard to describe experience

7/10
Author: iminloveithink from Canada
11 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this at its TIFF World Premiere, with little knowledge of the director/writer. All I knew is that Sandra Oh and Anne Heche were in it and a catfight was promised. In that promise, it delivered. The catfights were brutal and visceral, although it did loose steam a bit in its third act. But beyond its slowing last act and catfights, through it's mix of political jabs, intense performances, dark humour and many "I seen that actor/actress" cameos, it still all came together in a strange hard to describe experience that needs to be viewed. As it is, for a film shot in 16 days, it's weird, it's clunky but also refreshing. This is a director with a distinct point of view and style which may not be for everyone but find out for yourself.

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