Catch Me If You Can
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Catch Me If You Can preview screening reviewed

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Nathalie Baye

'Catch Me If You Can' is a based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, a conman and brilliant forger who as a teenager in the sixties amassed over $2m in stolen funds, jetsetted around the world for free masquerading as a co-pilot, bluffed his way as a hospital administrator for a year and toyed with the idea of becoming a lawyer after he passed the Louisiana bar exams. The FBI were onto him, and he was wanted in 26 different countries, but it took them nearly a decade to catch him as he managed to keep one step ahead of them.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the stylish James Bond-esque conman and his performance warrants the rave reviews it has been getting State-side. Tom Hanks is the dour FBI agent, Carl Hanratty, hot on his trail, and who, during the course of the film, develops into a surrogate father figure.

Catch Me If You Can preview screening reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com
Catch Me If You Can preview screening reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com

The plot runs deeper than just the euphoric, adrenalin pumping excitment of getting away with the cons. His family breaking up due to his fathers debts lead to Abagnale's choice to live life on the lam. His father, brilliantly played by Christopher Walken, has to turn down his sons' offers of financial help and support because he is under investigation by the IRS. His son's motive of offering help is to try to find a way to reunite his parents and to live as a family once again. Since he has also chosen this lifestyle constantly looking over his shoulder, and he has to spend his Christmas' and birthdays cut off from the people he loves.

Frank Abagnale's criminal accomplishments as a teenager are astounding. He really used his brains and charms to exploit the system and for all his escapades he never made an enemy. Nowadays he consults to blue chip companies on forgery and embezzlement, and even lectures on the subject at the FBI Academy in Virginia, free of charge, which is his way to repay his debt to society.

Spielberg's direction is as superb as ever and he really captures the feel of the Swinging Sixties almost with a Blake Edwards' twist. All in all it is a jaunty caper with the slightly embarrassing message that crime does pay, and is well recommended.

Release: 31 Jan 2003

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