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:: Catch Me If You Can

The latest Steven Spielberg film portrays the life of professional con artist Frank Abagnale Jr. Based on or “inspired by” the true life of the real Abagnale and adapted from his book, the film traces Abagnale’s real life escapades from running away his parents divorce at 16 and being apprehended by the F.B.I. at 21.
From the engagingly snappy opening credit sequences that perfectly capture the tone and mood of the 60s to the brilliant jazz score, and bold and brash costume and set design, this film appropriately depicts the era and through Abagnale’s adventures, carefully exploits the innocence and naiveté of the 60s.
Catch Me If You Can is told through a series of flashbacks that attempts to delve into Abagnale’s psyche and understand how this self-confessed opportunist managed to pose as a schoolteacher, airline pilot, F.B.I. Agent, doctor and lawyer at the ripe old age of 16. Devastated by the announcement of the divorce, Abagnale runs away from home and commences his new life by posing as an airline pilot and cashing forged checks. As he settles into his new life, he realises F.B.I. Agent Carl Hanratty is on the chase, in a series of typical cat and mouse style sequences, where Abagnale cleverly saves himself by posing as an F.B.I. Agent declaring to Hanratty that the guy he’s looking for has been caught. The two strike up an unlikely friendship that sees Abagnale revealing more to Hanratty about himself and his methods than to anyone else. During this chase Abagnale has several reunions with his father where he makes hopeful promises that his mother will want him back and they’ll all holiday again together and that things will be as they were. These truly outstanding scenes between father and son reveal Abagnale’s desire for a real family. A dream he chases when he meet and attempts to marry the young and innocent Brenda Strong, just as he’s about to embark on another identity change, hilariously revealing to her father that he is both a doctor and a lawyer. Inevitably Abagnale is caught and after a series of escapes, is asked to serve out his sentence working at the F.B.I. fraud sector where he remains there today.
There are many elements that contribute to this idealistically colourful world that Spielberg portrays for us, the most outstanding being the scenes played out between Abagnale and his father (Christopher Walken), who deserves much more praise than what has been given for his role. Walken’s scenes are acted with such conviction that one truly sees and believes the loss of hope he has for a reunion with his estranged wife, however keeping up the false façade of hope for his son. DiCaprio also plays a convincing Abagnale, smoothing shifting in and out of character when the occasion is called upon, again his acting talent shines through significantly in the scenes he shares with Walken.
A thoroughly entertaining and fast paced script that leaves audiences wanting to know more about this amazingly talented subject.

Screening on general release