Catch Me If You Can is a story based on the early life of Frank Abagnale Jr. who before he had turned 19 had successfully conned millions of dollars' worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor. This movie is an adaptation of a book by the same name written by Frank Abagnale with the help of Stan Redding. Although the movie mostly remains true to the original story, certain details were changed to create a more dramatic story. Catch Me If You Can stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale Jr., Tom Hanks as Carl Hanratty who is the FBI agent that pursues Frank, Christopher Walken as Frank’s father, and is directed by Steven Spielberg.
The most difficult thing about watching this movie is understanding the period it is set in. In a time of debit cards and high security it is hard to imagine a time when you could print checks and con your way into being a pilot; everything seems so unsecured and unconnected. This movie really helps show the effect that the internet had on today's society. Although now you can create a virtual identity, it is much more difficult to create a whole new identity and meet with people face to face. If someone born in this generation were to watch this film they would see an era that was completely unrelatable.
I think one of the reasons this movie is so great is because it plays into an ultimate fantasy. Frank essentially prints his own money while almost effortlessly obtaining jobs of a elite statues. A pilot, doctor, and lawyer are all jobs that society sees as authoritative and Frank can so confidently portray these roles. This is so fascinating to watch because now to obtain one of those careers one would collect so much debt and spend years of their life in schooling.
I also enjoyed the subtlety of some of the parts of this movie. Not only do you slowly see Frank’s and Carl’s relationship turn from one of criminal and authority to friendship, but also the constant subtle reminder of how Frank really is just a kid going through all of this alone. The relationship between Frank and Carl seamlessly builds at such slight increments you barely take notice, from the phone call on the first Christmas to the final scene at the FBI headquarters. Frank always seems so calm and collective but it is during the scenes where he breaks down where you remember he is only in his early teen’s while he is going through all of this.
Personally I have never been very good at watching movies twice except for the select few, and this is certainly one of them. I find this movie completely fascinating and every time I sit down to watch it I find myself completely immersed in the story. I would recommend this movie to anyone, and would love to hear how someone of today's younger generation feels about it.