This week I was finally able to view a documentary that has been firmly at the top of my must see list since I first heard about it at the start of the year. At first glance, Tickled is a light-hearted look at what may be the most ridiculous “competitive sport” known to the world; Competitive Endurance Tickling. Grab a team of guys, tie one of them down and tickle him until he submits, easy peasy.
New Zealand journalist David Farrier discovered the sport via a video he found online and quickly wanted to know more about this entirely bizarre hobby. A basic enquiry to the Facebook page of the media company that developed these Tickling videos and Farrier was sucked into a world that gets more and more sinister as it does weird.
What starts off a curious peek into an unknown, albeit slightly strange past time soon devolves into a edge of your seat thriller involving false identities, fraud, harassment and even cyber-crime all fronted by a mysterious unknown entity with seemingly unlimited funds and determination to get his/her fix of tickling, no matter the cost.
As the film progresses further down the rabbit hole, the narrative just becomes increasingly eerie, building to a climax that many thriller movies can only dream of achieving. Watching it my computer with headphones on, my boyfriend was becoming more frustrated by my seemingly endless audible gasps and exclamations throughout the hour and a half, his fault for not watching it with me, despite my protesting that he should.
It may seem a dumb premise for a documentary, but I implore you to see past the initial silliness. Trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, there are so many events that take place over the course of the movie that leave you walking away wondering just how much the rich can get away with, and what lengths people will go to, to appease their innermost wants.