Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Jennifer Garner
Director: Steven Spielberg
Think of a Spielberg movie and you tend to think of the effects laden films like CLOS ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, E.T. and A.I. All big budget spectaculars, as is CATCH ME IF YOU CAN but this time the enjoyment factor has to be rated solely on the story, as this is certainly not in the sci-fi / fantasy category, in fact it’s actually based on a true story.
Set in the 60’s Leonardo DiCapri plays Frank W Abagnale whose life is turned upside down when his parents go through an unexpected and messy divorce. Forced to choose between living with his father or his mother he instead runs away from home and with no money and no place to live he turns to small time cheque forgery to survive. But he is a bright young man and small time quickly escalates to big time as he finds loopholes in the still young airline industry and masquerades as an airline pilot to hitch free rides all over the world making his own ‘company cheques’ to cash for funds.
As he learns more ingenious methods to make forged bank cheques and take on new personas as a doctor and a lawyer he attracts the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) a thorough, dedicated agent who sinks his teeth into catching this master forger even though he tends to lack field experience.
Carl never gives up but neither does Frank and the film almost becomes a battle of wills between these two men as much as an intriguing piece of entertainment.
One can’t help but be amazed at what Frank gets away with as he uses his charm and quick thinking to get what he wants and evade capture. He shows people what they want to see in order to divert their attention and hide in plain sight whilst accumulating large sums of money and living a life of luxury. And yet within all of the confidence he uses to his advantage lies a boy who simply wants his father and mother to be his family again.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is a highly enjoyable film with an equally amazing ending as is its incredible (but based on a true) storyline.