Watched 'Catch Me If You Can' (2002) on Netflix.
Its based on the true story of Frank Abagnale (Leonardo Di Caprio) who, well by his 19th birthday, has embezzled millions of dollars through forged checks, and through posing as a pilot, doctor and a lawyer.
Tom Hanks plays Carl Hanratty, a cop out to get the bad guy, but quite fatherly, trying to help the guy because he is just a child.
The movie should have focused a bit more on the methods of the fraudster, that’s where all the spice is and that’s the most challenging part of movie making; but there are just a few scenes showing him removing company logos from souvenirs and sticking them on bank checks after which he is shown making his millions rather easily. I mean, you have to believe it without seeing it.
The movie is credible because it's set in the 1960's.
When information was confined to one file in one place. Not easily available, not shared. When the guy you were looking for was standing right before you but you could not identify him before you hadn’t seen his picture. Because his only picture that was a passport size black and white was on an old newspaper in the possession of his mother who lived in a different city.
I mean, the forged medical certificate of Frank is accepted by the hospital, without cross verification with the university. Today it would be impossible.
The movie would be laughable today. In the age of Google and smart phones and universal connectivity.
But the irony of it is, fraud has gotten bigger and better than ever before. New loopholes appear faster than you can close the older ones.
The most remarkable thing about the movie is the viewing lens.
It seems unjust and unfair.
A fraudster is depicted as this smart charming fellow cleverly eluding the nuisance of a cop.
The choice of Leo for the role was the first wrong step. He is a popular star and hence endears himself to the audience - despite being a felon who has swindled millions of dollars.
All along the movie it is the bad guy whose side you take and that's not right.
It's called glamorization of evil. Trite but that’s alright.
To keep the balance, the story should have shown the plight of an old couple who had lost all their life savings to this unthinking unscrupulous cheat.
The baddie transformed in the end alright and helped the FBI catch hundreds of fraudsters, but to depict him as a charming hero right from the beginning was a flaw in the lens.
It would have taken more talent to depict him as the criminal that he was, evoking resentment from the audience and then change that resentment to sympathy towards the end, as the boy transformed to a lawful citizen.
Leonardo looks so young, so boyish in the movie. He plays a sixteen year old. I don't know if he really looked that young then or it is thanks to the make up artist. I love that look of his, especially his hairdo.
Perhaps they made him lose weight for that role.
A nice analogy.
“Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard, that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out”
The past is incredible. For being so far removed from the present.
A story of the 1960’s. Frank’s dad opened a checking account and put 25 dollars in it for his sixteenth birthday.
Frank, is asked if he is Lutheran. When he reveals to Brenda(Amy Adams) he is not, she is devastated.
New words learnt
- a person who attends a performance, sports event, etc., or travels on a train, airplane, etc., without having paid for a ticket, especially a person using a complimentary ticket or free pass.
- a train, railroad car, airplane, truck, or other commercial vehicle while operating empty, as when returning to a terminal.
2.Paperhanger - a person who passes worthless checks