Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Comedy,Drama Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Leonardo Dicaprio and Tom hanks are in a cat and mouse game of Steven Spielberg. It’s my review of Catch Me If You Can.

After poor work from AI, now Spielberg enters with a new genre, Comedy. Based on the true story of Frank William Abagnale, Speilberg takes Leonardo Dicaprio to enact his role. The summer of Hollywood needs a relief from tiresome thrillers and action movies. Catch Me If You Can will help for the holidays, but not expect any action scenes that may be spellbinding or any thrilling sequences that can engage the viewers.

“I am a doctor, a lawyer”, said by Abagnale Jr. This dialogue sure gives us all the roles he is doing in the movie. Produced by DreamWorks and Parkes McDonald, with the star cast like Leonardo Dicaprio and Tom hanks alongside Christopher walker, and others Catch Me If You Can is a movie that may not be a popcorn entertainer, but surely has elements to entertain. (Do not confuse with regular cop and thief stories. This is surely different.)

The plot is simple. It is all about Frank Abagnale (Leonardo Dicaprio), who runs away from his parents after they decide to divorce. He uses the checks given by his father Frank Abagnale Sr. (Christopher Walker), and starts a life with lot of activity and fraud cleverly without being caught. To his surprise he has a cop Carl (Tom Hanks) who is on pursuit to capture him. How he manages to escape from the cop and cleverly execute his plans is all about?

The plot development is good. The narrative is strong and sometimes storytelling went too much a bit. The thrills and activities done by Abagnale are definitely different. Movie moves briskly right away from the scene one. There are two to three jerks in the screenplay where we see Abagnale being a playboy. That might not work much for the story. Also we have a small back story of Abagnale Sr., and how he and his wife separated and whereas now, his son is busy doing a different job, I mean jobs. With the runtime about 140 minutes, I actually thought that the movie dragged a bit in second half. The last 10 minutes can be trimmed as the scenes seemed some extended. Leonardo has a nice future in Hollywood,  by the way he performed as Abagnale Jr. The initial 30 minutes gives us the life and struggles of Abagnale Jr, with his parents. When everything comes into his hand, he now takes his chance and proves the best with his talents, and lives the life he wants. The next 30 minutes is all the cleverness and awesomeness in doing certain jobs. We see Bank check frauds, hotel cashing, he becoming a co-pilot and also other things like dating a girl. The next 60 minutes is all about how Carl finds his man with the clues and gets him. I actually felt that this is where movie took a long time to wrap the story. We had some emotional scenes and also Abagnale busy with his new girl friend, a nurse in hospital played by Amy Adams. Though the movie seemed dragged a bit, the climax was interesting and the way the movie ended was a good sign.  Altogether I can say the movie is 100 minutes interesting. That would have been enough. The remaining 40 minutes is somewhat okay.

Characters are quite interesting. For example, Abagnale Jr, and Sr, together is the interesting characters in the movie. Performed by Leonardo and Christopher Walker respectively, they share son and father relationship. Abagnale Sr, is very inspiring and kind hearted for his son. For example he says during an instance that “ Two mice struggled in a bowl of curd and one mouse gave up whereas the other made it into butter. I am the second mice”. Now this is the dialogue that defines his character. The character of Carl played by Tom Hanks was actually a bit down. I thought Tom never looked like a cop in the movie. Just by pointing guns and opening doors with a thud, he cannot become a cop. He has the best dialogue in the movie, for example “Didn’t you get anyone to call this Christmas, and you picked a wrong man”. He is funny and at the same time serious giving his joke “Knock Knock”.  This is surely a serious dialogue. I expected any other person instead of Tom Hanks. Abagnale’s wife Paula is another character that does not look good. Her character is poorly etched. The other FBI agents are quite okay and have nothing to do in the movie. Leonardo was awesome as Abagnale Jr. He was so believable in his character. He is childish, careful, and also sometimes funny. He is a mastermind, in doing frauds and escaping cops. Quite a great character it was. The other characters in the movie are quite normal and have no much to do. Performances from Leonardo and Tom Hanks are really great and they carry the movie together. They share excellent screen chemistry.

Presentation was quite good. I thought the music was great. It reminded me the old cat and mouse cartoon shows when I watched this movie and listening to the background score. Great job John Williams (famous for Harry Potter). The camera work was good. It is an old movie around 2002, hence I cannot expect great camera work and cinematography that can be breathtaking. Hence I can say that everything suits well to present the movie.

Bottom line: Leonardo Dicaprio, Christopher Walker and Tom Hanks share excellent screen space, and deliver the best performance, with a good narrative and an interesting storyline, to keep the audience engaged.

My word: Interesting concept A-

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