Film Reviews Cat

Catch Me If You Can (2002)


Frank Abagnale Jr. is a young con artist who pretends to be a pilot, doctor, and a lawyer. Meanwhile he is on the run from the FBI who is looking for him because of cheque fraud. 

“Catch Me If You Can” is a great movie that feels like a cat and mouse game between two amazing actors. Frank Abagnale Jr. is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tom Hanks plays the FBI Agent (Carl Hanratty). To me the entire interaction between the two protagonists felt like a dance because every interaction, and close encounters, are very sophisticated. One example of this would be the Christmas phone scene in which Frank Abignale Jr. phones Carl Hanratty at his own office. It is an intimate moment in which the two protagonists ‘dance’ around each other before each one returns to their own world. However, what makes this film so different is that the two protagonists don’t hate each other. You notice the respect between the two characters and this is the foundation for a good crime/drama. 

However, the most enjoyable part of this movie are the three different con artist parts. During the first part of “Catch Me If You Can” we see how Frank Abagnale Jr. became a con artist. This is mainly focused around his upbringing and the divorce of his parents. and it eventually develops into his major con artist job which includes pretending to be a pilot. Maybe the entire pilot plot structure is the most entertaining one because it really fits with Leonardo DiCaprio’s style of acting. I am not saying that the doctor, or lawyer part were less realistic, but it did feel a little out of character at times for some reason. But of course this is not an issue given the genre of this movie because the detective genre harbors many comedic moments and styles. Moreover, the second part in which he plays a doctor suits really well with the love story that is attached to it. And finally during the third part he pretends to be a lawyer. This third part also suits very well with the overall plot structure because during this part Frank has to defend himself from the FBI that is closing in on him. 

The directing, and the script are also on point. When you watch this movie you truly feel part of this grand chase that takes place during the 1960’s. This fully immersive experience can be attributed to Steven Spielberg because all of his shots convey the entire setting, and include lots of emotions. Maybe nostalgia is a better word because the Pan AM Airlines days were really something special. It almost feels like “Alice in Wonderland” meets Sherlock Holmes kind of a movie, and it offers the audience the best of both worlds. And to be honest, this movie doesn’t contain any bad scenes, or bad acting.

Overall, “Catch Me If You Can” is a movie that you can watch at any given time, and it will never get boring. Maybe it is one of my favorite Leonardo DiCaprio films because he plays a very vulnerable role. The only thing that I can add to this is that the dialogue felt realistic and natural. Moreover, there is a certain natural flow to the script which perfectly matches with the use of colors, scenes, and style of acting.  

Directed by 

Steven Spielberg

Writing Credits

Jeff Nathanson(screenplay)
Frank Abagnale Jr.(book) (as Frank W. Abagnale) and
Stan Redding(book)

Cast (in credits order) verified as complete  

Leonardo DiCaprioFrank Abagnale Jr.
Tom HanksCarl Hanratty
Christopher WalkenFrank Abagnale
Martin SheenRoger Strong
Nathalie BayePaula Abagnale
Amy AdamsBrenda Strong
James BrolinJack Barnes
Brian HoweEarl Amdursky
Frank John HughesTom Fox
Steve EastinPaul Morgan

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