Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Catch is an old-fashioned crime drama set against the backdrop of coastal Maine. When Beth (Katia Winter) makes a surprise visit back home, she sets off a chain of events that effects her entire family. Still haunted by flashbacks of a tragic accident, Beth reconnects with her unstable ex-boyfriend Dicky (James McMenamin), and the two plot to steal “30 or 40 grand” in weed from local drug runners—“not the mafia.” Meanwhile, Beth’s lobster fisherman father (Bill Sage) and her concerned but loving brother (Kyle Gallner) become embroiled in a territorial war against outsiders poaching their lines.

The Catch goes full-blown crime thriller in the final act. As the storylines merge and come to a head, the tension ramps up to the extreme. This is when I was the most invested, though I did find the ending to be a tad unsatisfying. The script from Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer, who also directs, feels deeply personal and bubbles with specificity. You can feel the passion behind the lens in bringing this dark drama to the silver screen. 

The pacing is a slow-burn build, brimming with personality, thanks to the setting of the small fishing town. Each character is defined by the way they function within this locale. This makes Maine feel significantly more vital to the film than I was expecting. I found the use of flashbacks to be slightly confusing here and there, but like other elements, they pay off with an emotional finality. Katia Winter does the heaviest lifting on the acting side. It is Beth’s appearance that is the inciting incident into the narrative machinations, and Winter is game for her character’s complex attitude and rash decision-making. The immeasurable talent of new filmmaker Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer promises further honest stories to sprout forth from his detail-oriented visual style.

The Catch casts its line for audiences when it screens at the Provincetown Film Festival, playing live on June 18th at 4:30pm, and limited streaming tickets will be available starting June 16th. For more information or to purchase tickets, head over to their website.

Leave a Reply