Starring: Sandra Oh, Anne Heche, Alicia Silverstone
Director: Onur Tukel
Running Time: 96 mins
Catfight is an American film about two former schoolmates who meet periodically in later life, with their brief encounters resulting in a bitter feud and a series of bloody fights.
A short, sharp movie with humour as dark as can be, Catfight is an enormously entertaining and devilishly macabre comedy from start to finish. With two brilliant lead performances from Sandra Oh and Anne Heche, plus a series of admittedly far-fetched yet darkly hilarious twists, this film is an utter joy to watch.
The premise here is simple: two women with a fractured relationship meet on a handful occasions over the years, with each encounter causing irreparable damage to one or the others’ life. At first, it seems like their brief meetings will set up bitter arguments, but things take a dramatic turn far sooner than you’d ever expect.
More than just hurling insults at each other, Oh and Heche start hurling punches and a series of large, heavy objects at one another as their meetings quickly turn violent and out of control. It’s a fun metaphor for the pent-up rage that people feel during a long-standing feud, but it’s the devastating impact of those encounters that really makes this film a memorable watch.
After each meeting, we see the life-changing impact and devastating consequences of their encounter, with both Oh and Heche’s characters finding themselves in dire straits years after their previous meeting.
That’s where the film’s devilishly macabre sense of humour comes in, and you being to really sympathise with the rage the pair feel for each other, all the while struggling to hold back a chuckle at the sheer ridiculousness of the way their relationship has soured.
Nothing goes right whenever the pair come face to face, and the impact of their encounters is so far-fetched that the film finds itself in a difficult middle ground between hilariously dark and plainly unbelievable. For the most part, it straddles that middle ground well, and the ludicrous depths that the pair fall to make for some good laughs, though there are times when the film does feel like it’s stepping just a bit too far beyond reality.
Overall, though, Catfight is a hugely fun watch with a brilliantly dark sense of humour. It’s a short, sharp movie that’s brought to life by two fantastic lead performances from Sandra Oh and Anne Heche, and it tells an engaging and enjoyably violent story about a lifelong feud, so that’s why I’m giving it a 7.6.