Catch Me If You Can (2002) Review

Verdict: Innovative

Great story, acting and design.


Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) runs away from home when his parents Frank (Christopher Walker) and Paula (Nathalie Baye) decide to get a divorce. His first con is to disguise himself as a PanAm pilot, getting paid to fly across the country while not particularly doing anything. He then learns to counterfeit bank notes and earns himself a great deal of money. Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) an FBI agent working in the department of bank fraud is determined to catch Frank Jr. After a close encounter with each other, Frank Jr. changes profession to a doctor at a hospital where he meets Brenda (Amy Adams). Directed by Steven Spielberg.

It is incredible to think that this film is based on a true story, and that a high school student was able to deceive so many people. What an ingenious and innovative kid – for the wrong reasons of course. I am unsure of the accuracy of the film’s portrayal of the actual events, but Frank Jr. does seem to be quite mature for his age – at least his persona does. Adding to that, I feel like the romantic encounters (save for Brenda) was probably the influence of Hollywood, or dramatized at the least.

Leonardo DiCaprio perfectly encompasses the emotions of an emotionally troubled teen to the T. He portrays his character’s naivety well, depicting both Frank’s fake confidence and emotional turmoil. Supporting actors and actresses did a good job too. Walken as Frank’s father and Hanks as Hanratty both support a kind of father figure to Frank though one is encouraging him not to stop and the other is trying to catch him.

The editing is well done with two different timelines juxtaposed against each other. At first it is a little confusing and hard to discern which time period is being shown, but it gets better as the film goes on. What I do not get is the very first scene of the film which shows a kind of game show. Not only is it a weird way to introduce the film it does not fit into the story at all. The film doesn’t end with the game show, and it is not mentioned or seen again for the rest of the movie.

The designs of the set and the costumes are nicely done and adds to the atmosphere of the film. Also, I liked how there are quite a few cameos with well known actresses (although probably not so well known back then).

To sum-up:
PROS: Acting, story, design
CONS: Dramatized, beginning scene

I give this an 8/10.

Have you seen Catch Me If You Can? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!


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