Steven Spielberg is no stranger to the coveted club of the hall of fame movies. He has made many movies so far that can easily be regarded as classics. So, what is it about his 2002 fun caper Catch Me If You Can that make it one of the best movies Spielberg has created thus far?
There are many things that make this movie an interesting watch. It has a unique storyline that is partly fun and witty, partly edgy, and wholesomely entertaining. It is also a complex movie depicting many stressful scenarios but with an unusually lighter tone, which is quite a novel idea considering that it is a Spielberg movie. The movie’s events become all the more entertaining for the viewer because it is based on a true story.
The character of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) makes Catch Me If You Can such a huge entertainer. DiCaprio is simply superb as Frank and is the perfect choice for this role. Frank is such an unusual protagonist; he becomes a doctor without attending medical school, a pilot without learning how to fly, a lawyer without enrolling in a law school, and manages to collect millions of dollars without doing literally anything apart from signing some checks. All of this, Frank achieves before his 19th birthday. The boyish charm and youthful immaturity of DiCaprio make his character more appealing even if not relatable to an average viewer.
The concept of a con artist is another appealing thing about this movie. Frank is although young but Spielberg has sketched his character in a way that he comes across as someone who can pull off such incredible acts. There is a humane and softer side to Frank’s character as well. He is not just a conman trying to make some quick bucks; he wants to help his parents get back together and keeps trying his luck throughout the movie to prevent their separation. That’s such a touchy aspect of the movie.
And, the discussion about Catch Me If You Can’s positive aspects wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the peculiar FBI bank fraud investigator Carl Hanratty. He is one of the frankest cops you would ever see in a movie, much unlike the crisp and confrontational FBI agents that we have become accustomed to. Yet, he is a serious and sober person who doesn’t talk too much at the office and struggles to crack a jock. His life is miserable as he has to capture a con artist who is capable of pulling off incredible feats without leaving a trace.
The movie’s most entertaining parts are the ambitious schemes that Frank constantly plans to make money. His schemes are elaborate, clever, and daring. He never hesitates to pose as someone in a high-profile position. He impersonates a Pan Am airline pilot by claiming that he lost his uniform, isn’t this hilarious? Watch Catch Me If You Can if you are looking for an out and out entertainer.