Movie review of “Tickled”: This engaging and constantly surprising New Zealand documentary is about tracking down internet fraud in the world of nonsexual Competitive Endurance Tickling. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
Last year’s SIFF nonfiction division featured a semi-serious documentary, “Do I Sound Gay?,” that explored gay stereotypes and their impact.
An engaging and constantly surprising New Zealand documentary, “Tickled,” starts out in a similar vein. Then it sets off in another direction entirely.
“Tickled” is really about the perils of identity theft, especially as TV-based journalists find themselves becoming detectives. Using the tools of their trade, they try to track down fraud in the universe of nonsexual competitive endurance tickling.
Movie Review ★★★
‘Tickled,’ a documentary directed by David Farrier and Dylan Reeve. 92 minutes. Rated R for language. Guild 45th.
That may sound like a prank, but it’s a real sport, with rules that dictate how it must be played. The scenes of adults trying to contain their giggles are squirm-worthy, in a way that’s almost endearing.
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Still, there are innocent victims here, and they include a straight-arrow coach who is misidentified as a “sexual deviant” on the internet.
As all heck breaks loose, the filmmakers find themselves in legal limbo, tangling with aggressive homophobic forces beyond their control. The dangers of the internet have rarely been presented so convincingly.
Could “Tickled” be an elaborate “Spinal Tap”-style mockumentary? Possibly, but the tickles certainly seem authentic.